Atlantic County Justice Facility named R. Scott Chavez Facility of the Year

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The NCCHC award honors ACJF’s joint partnership with John Brooks Recovery Center for its addiction and reentry services.

The NCCHC award honors ACJF’s joint partnership with JBRC.

"JBRC and the ACJF implemented the state’s first program to provide medication-assisted treatment to inmates,” said Michael Santillo, CEO of John Brooks Recovery Center.

Many people in the recovery community feel strongly that medication-assisted treatment is the key to sobriety and removing barriers is the first step in long-term recovery. Leading the charge is John Brooks Recovery Center (JBRC) in partnership with the Atlantic County Justice Facility (ACJF) as they strive to break the cycle of crime and addiction.

The tireless efforts of these two organizations have been commended as the National Commission on Correctional Health Care (NCCHC) recently named the ACJF as the R. Scott Chavez Facility of the Year. This prestigious award honors one facility among several hundred accredited by the commission for its outstanding quality, innovation and dedication.

The NCCHC highlighted the ACJF’s joint partnership with JBRC, which provides onsite medication-assisted treatment, along with counseling and connections to continued treatment upon release for addicted inmates. “JBRC and the ACJF implemented the state’s first program to provide medication-assisted treatment to inmates,” said Michael Santillo, CEO of John Brooks Recovery Center. “This program provides medications that effectively manage the symptoms of drug withdrawal, reduce the risk of relapse and overdose and provides individual and group counseling for those suffering with substance use disorders.”

When health staff, custody staff and leadership work together to provide their best, along with numerous community partners, the results go above and beyond the requirements of the NCCHC jail standards. That is what NCCHC surveyors found to be true at the ACJF in Mays Landing.

The award highlights the ACJF’s impact on mental health, suicide prevention and access by all inmates to medical and mental health providers. “Through community partnerships, the facility provides on-site medication-assisted treatment, along with counseling and linkage to continued treatment upon release, and a comprehensive reentry program provides assistance with housing, health insurance and case management,” according to the NCCHC.

The ACJF was the first to provide a model for a $1.7M New Jersey pilot program to bring medication-assisted treatment to multiple counties throughout the state, according to Santillo. “Last year, we were honored to have state Commissioner of Human Services Carole Johnson come to our Pleasantville facility to announce $8M in funding to provide such treatment at all county jails,” he added.

Medication-assisted treatment is a long-term approach to recovery requiring daily participation for medication with weekly counseling. As the individual stabilizes and makes progress toward recovery goals, the frequency/attendance decreases based on clinical/medical staff assessments.

All Roads Recovery (the community-based recovery arm of JBRC) also works in conjunction with Atlantic County jails post-incarceration. “All Roads Recovery follows individuals out of the jail in order to help them navigate their next steps on the journey to recovery,” Santillo added. “The most important part of the discharge plan is to link individuals to services once they leave the jail. All Roads Recovery does just this and has become a refuge for returning citizens.”

Looking to the future, JBRC will continue to partner with ACJF to help inmates pursue recovery. “Medication-assisted treatment works,” said Santillo. “And we will do our best to save as many lives as possible.”

About John Brooks Recovery Center
Founded in 1969, John Brooks Recovery Center provides quality, individualized treatment services to help individuals overcome substance use disorders. Programs include: Residential, Outpatient, Medication-assisted Recovery and Inmate Re-entry. To learn more, visit jbrcnj.org or visit them on Facebook @JohnBrooksRecoveryCenter.

About All Roads Recovery Community Center
All Roads Recovery Community Center, the community-based recovery arm of JBRC, helps anyone struggling with addiction navigate their next steps on the journey to recovery. All Roads currently offers a wide variety of Recovery Groups, as well as one-on-one coaching with Certified Peer Recovery Specialists (CPRS). To learn more, visit allroadsrecovery.org, call 609-457-1080 or visit them on Facebook @AllRoadsRCC.

https://jbrcnj.org/about-us/blog-newsroom/entry/2020/12/22/atlantic-county-justice-facility-named-r-scott-chavez-facility-of-the-year.html

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Laura Crossan
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