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Carrie Lover Conway, who works as the Strafford County criminal justice programming coordinator, said officials at the jail have been planning the voluntary programs for three to four months. The hope is inmates will choose to seek treatment for addiction issues instead of developing friendships with inmates who are negative influences.
Conway says 85 percent of the jail’s population struggles with addiction issues. The county jail holds local and federal inmates, as well as U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainees.
SOS Recovery Community Organization is helping officials at the jail pilot an educational program for inmates 30 days prior to their release. Conway said this program will include an introduction to the organization and training on the use of Naloxone.
Inmates will be given a Naloxone kit in case they find a friend or family member overdosing on drugs after they are released. Conway said the program is a proven best practice in Canada, and officials at the jail were open to trying it when the director of SOS Recovery Community Organization approached them about it.
John Burns, director of SOS Recovery — which has locations in Dover, Durham and Rochester — is in long-term recovery and said SOS Recovery is excited to be part of the initiative.
“It is our hope at SOS Recovery Community Organization, that the day will come when individuals are no longer incarcerated for substance use disorders, and instead will receive robust treatment and recovery resources immediately when needed. However, while we wait for that day and continue to advocate for it, we are excited to have partners that work as closely with SOS as Strafford County Criminal Justice Programming, to provide these critical, life-saving, resources,” Burns said in a statement.