The following is a press release submitted to SOURCE media.
BILLERICA – Middlesex Sheriff Peter J. Koutoujian welcomed Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) Secretary Marylou Sudders back to the Middlesex Jail & House of Correction on Wednesday, October 9 for a meeting and tour of the facility.
The visit primarily focused on behavioral health issues and initiatives the MSO and EOHHS work closely on, including last month’s launch of the medication assisted treatment (MAT) pilot program.
The pilot builds upon the MSO’s Medication Assisted Treatment And Directed Opioid Recovery (MATADOR) program and is designed to help support those entering and exiting custody with opioid use disorder (OUD).
As part of the visit, Sheriff Koutoujian and Secretary Sudders met with staff and inmates participating in the Medical-Assisted Treatment program.
“Mental health and substance use are two of the biggest underlying factors that lead people to our custody,” said Sheriff Koutoujian. “Secretary Sudders and her team are tremendous partners in our efforts to provide the necessary continuity of care for justice-involved individuals returning to the community with substance use disorders, mental illness and other health care concerns.”
“Our Administration is engaged in intentional, ongoing work to improve access to behavioral health and substance use treatment throughout the Commonwealth,” said HHS Secretary Sudders. “Sheriff Koutoujian has been a strong partner as we bridge the gaps that justice-involved individuals often face when re-entering the community by connecting them with critical supports pre-release that address their addictions and underlying mental illness and connecting them to local resources post-release to ensure a seamless transition back into our communities.”
As part of the visit, Sec. Sudders also met with staff in the Housing Unit for Military Veterans (HUMV), as well as inmates and staff participating in the People Achieving Change Together (PACT) program. PACT is the MSO’s young adult unit, designed to provide tailored programming for individuals ages 18-25.
Secretary Sudders previously visited the Middlesex Jail & House of Correction for the formal opening of Housing Unit for Military Veterans in 2016.
COURTESY PHOTO: Middlesex Sheriff Peter J. Koutoujian (left) recently welcomed EOHHS Secretary Marylou Sudders (center) to the Middlesex Jail & House of Correction for a meeting. They were joined by Scott Taberner (right), EOHHS Special Advisor for Behavioral Healthcare and Criminal Justice.