Integrate standardized screening practices into the criminal justice system

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Integrate routine screening for substance use and misuse and co-occurring disorders into key points in the criminal justice system.

Routine screening for substance use and misuse and co-occurring disorders at all intercepts of the criminal justice system is an effective way of making an initial determination about the presence of behavioral disorders and connecting an individual to further assessment and services. Universal screening for substance use disorders by staff members at jail booking, police holding cells, court lockups, and prior to the first court appearance offers a critical opportunity to identify options for diversion. Ensuring that information from screening and assessments is used for clinical decision making and reentry planning can support individuals in achieving recovery goals and reduce the likelihood of overdose post-release.

COSSAP supports activities that:


Implement or expand evidence-based screening tools to screen and refer individuals to substance use and misuse treatment as indicated.


Implement an evidence-based screening instrument for substance use disorder to identify individuals in need of further assessment and treatment, as well as withdrawal or intoxication symptoms that may require immediate medical attention.

COSSAP grantees integrating standardized screening practices into the criminal justice system

Grantee Projects


City of Columbus–Public Safety, Division of Fire


The Columbus Department of Public Safety’s Rapid Response Emergency Addiction and Crisis Team (RREACT) will hire a project manager, fund a case manager, and fund staff members at the Franklin County Family and Children First Council to provide wraparound service coordination and trauma counseling for children and families impacted by overdose. Grant funds will be used to establish standard protocols for case management for overdose survivors who do not immediately choose to enter treatment; incorporate connection to kinship supports and trauma counseling for children and family members impacted by overdose; implement standards case management protocols; and measure the impact of community-based RREACT services on repeat overdose, entry into treatment, and future engagement with the justice system. The Columbus Division of Fire (which operates the RREACT Program) will partner with an external researcher for project evaluation.


Shelby County Government


The Shelby County Division of Community Services will use addiction peer recovery specialists to link individuals with substance use disorders to treatment and case management services, bridge the gap between victims and resources, and be on call 24/7/365 with law enforcement, emergency medical services, and local emergency rooms working to identify patients and encourage them into treatment. The University of Memphis will serve as the research partner for this project.

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