statewide — A prison in southeastern Indiana was selected to participate in a national pilot program designed to help people dealing with mental health and substance use disorders.
The Indiana Department of Family and Social Services’ Mental Health and Addiction Division has launched a pilot program designed to provide incarcerated individuals with mental health and substance use disorders with certified peer professionals and wraparound services. have started.
The Integrated Reentry and Correctional Support program (IRACS) provides peer-led Sequential Intercept Model (SIM) support to inmates with mental health and substance use disorders upon arrival at one of five prison pilot sites in Indiana County. Offers. SIM aims to provide a comprehensive picture of how individuals with mental health and substance use disorders encounter and navigate the criminal justice system, and move them away from the justice system toward treatment. and
The IRACS program is a collaboration of the DMHA, Indiana Forensic Services, Indiana Recovery Network, Mental Health America of Indiana programs, and the Dearborn County Law Enforcement Center, Blackford, Daviess, Delaware, and Scott County Jails.
Inmates booked into each of the five prisons are evaluated as potential IRACS support clients and identified client treatment and formal support is provided.
A forensic peer team resides at each prison and consists of certified program supervisors, certified peer support, resource peer navigators, reentry peers, and peer engagement coordinators, all employed by the Indiana Recovery Network’s regional recovery hubs. These teams work within prison settings and work with correctional, pretrial and nursing staff, and all community he providers to support incarcerated individuals during the program. Prison staff receive special training to support IRACS personnel and incarcerated clients.
Douglas Huntsinger, Indiana’s Executive Director of Drug Prevention, Treatment and Enforcement, said: “Regardless of how an individual ends up in the justice system, it matters how they move forward. and intend to reduce future involvement in the judicial system.”
Using IRACS Recovery Engagement Pathways, peers walk along with each client identified to provide responsive support and resources related to their needs. These pathways focus on re-entry and are subject to change as the legal process evolves and judgments become final.
“The Engagement Pathway allows the Forensic Peer Team to meet individuals as soon as they walk through the prison door and provide one-on-one support at the critical moment of meeting someone. Forensics of Mental Health, Indiana America Jamie Whitaker, vice president of services, said: “With the vision and funding provided by state leadership and strong regional collaboration in all five pilot counties, the IRACS Forensic Peer Team will: We make sure that we have someone to meet people in their most difficult moments and to walk with them every step of the way.”
The IRACS program is funded by Recovery Works, Indiana’s voucher-based system, through June 2023, to support partnerships between the justice system and mental health and addiction treatment providers. Each of the five pilot sites will receive a grant of up to $500,000 to build teams and work with her partners in the out-of-prison community for a full-spectrum re-entry process to ensure continuity of care after release. provides the infrastructure necessary to support
At the end of the pilot program, the data collected will be reported to the FSSA by participating sheriffs for evaluation. If proven successful, Indiana commits to expanding her IRACS program to more Indiana County prisons within the next three years.