In a case example from the Kentucky HEALing Communities Study, extensive resources were deployed to address structural barriers and facilitate the provision of medication for opioid use disorder (OUD) in an urban county jail. However, implementation was unsuccessful, and this case example emphasizes the importance of including evidence-based medication for OUD (MOUD) treatment in the scope of work of jails’ contracted medical providers. The privatization of correctional health care services allows local governments with opioid abatement funds to incorporate requirements into medical provider contracts to screen all people entering jails for OUD and to offer MOUD at intake, throughout incarceration, and upon release to everyone for whom it is clinically indicated. We provide sample contractual language that can be added to requests for medical provider proposals to help drive the private correctional health care market toward integrating MOUD treatment into their standard of care. This approach also could expedite efforts to scale up broad MOUD access across U.S. jails through sharing of workflows and best practices among the small group of national correctional health care companies contracted with jails in states with broad mandates, such as Massachusetts. Clinical Trial Registration: NCT04111939.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-6
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Correctional Health Care
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 Mary Ann Liebert Inc.. All rights reserved.


  • MOUD
  • contracted correctional health care
  • county jails
  • implementation science
  • medications for opioid use disorder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Community and Home Care
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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