Jail Based Behavioral Health Services



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    The Criminal Justice team offers support to community partners through quarterly workgroup meetings, learning community sessions, and round table discussions. Check out our outreach calendar for a list of upcoming events.


    The Jail Based Behavioral Health Services (JBBS) Program has been operational since October 2011 with funding from the Correctional Treatment Cash Fund pursuant to C.R.S.18-19-103 (5)(c)(V). The goal of the JBBS Program is to provide appropriate behavioral health services to inmates while supporting continuity of care within the community after release from incarceration.

    To carry out the JBBS program, sheriff departments may partner with local community provider(s) who can demonstrate the ability to provide services within the jail, and the capacity to provide or link individuals releasing from jail to free or low cost services in the community.  This approach should result in shorter jail sentences and decreased recidivism through better identification and treatment of behavioral health needs. 

    >>> Read how JBBS programs are embracing telebehavioral health during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

    JBBS Programs

    Substance Use Disorder Program

    The JBBS substance use disorder program funds provision of evidence-based behavioral health services, with continuity of care extending into the community. Sheriff departments are recipients of these funds, either individually, or as multiple county sheriff departments as a partnership. In accordance with the legislation, all funds are used to provide behavioral health services for adults with substance use disorders or co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders.

    Sheriff departments have partnered with local community providers who are currently licensed by OBH to provide services within the jail and have the capacity to provide free or low-cost services in the community to inmates upon release. Most programs have at least a clinician position to offer screenings, assessment and treatment in the jail and a case manager position dedicated to transitional care and a seamless re-entry in treatment services in the community. Treatment providers screen all inmates for presence of substance use disorders, mental health disorders, trauma and traumatic brain injury and identify inmates with active duty or veteran military status.

    Substance Use Disorder Program

    The Office of Behavioral Health was allotted $5,256,185 for the Jail Based Behavioral Health Services (JBBS) Substance Use Disorder (SUD) Program for FY 2018-19. The JBBS program supports county sheriffs in providing screening, assessment and treatment for substance use disorders and co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders to people who need such services while they are in jail. The program also creates partnerships for continuity of care in the community for individuals needing services upon release from jail. The is funded through HB 10-1352, and expanded in October 2012 through SB 12-163.

    Substance Use Disorder Program

    County jails using a JBBS SUD program are: Adams, Alamosa, Arapahoe, Archuleta, Baca, Bent, Boulder, Cheyenne, Clear Creek, Conejos, Crowley, Delta, Denver, Douglas, Eagle, Elbert, El Paso, Hinsdale, Garfield, Grand, Gunnison, Jefferson, Kiowa, Kit Carson, La Plata, Larimer, Logan, Moffat, Morgan, Montrose, Montezuma, Mesa, Otero, Ouray, Phillips, Pitkin, Pueblo, Prowers, Routt, San Miguel, Washington, Weld and Yuma.

    Substance Use Disorder Program

    This July 2018 JBBS program evaluation examined both process elements of how the program is implemented across the counties as well as the outcomes and impact of the services provided.

    Mental Health Services

    In May 2018 the Colorado General Assembly passed Senate Bill 18-250, which allocated $5.1 million in additional funding to the JBBS program to address gaps in services for mental health disorder screening, assessment, diagnosis and treatment. The funds support psychiatric prescription services and the purchase of medications. In accordance with the legislation, all funds are dedicated to providing behavioral health services for adults (18 years of age and older) with mental health disorders or co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders.

    Mental Health Services

    Per SB 18-250 priority was given to rural and frontier counties for mental health services funds. Currently, contracts are in place for Alamosa, Clear Creek, Conejos, Crowley, Elbert, Garfield, Kit Carson, La Plata, Lincoln, Logan, Moffat, Montezuma, Montrose, Morgan, Otero, Prowers, Rio Blanco, Routt, Summit, Washington, and Yuma Counties.

    Medication-Assisted Treatment


    Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) in the Criminal Justice System: Brief Guidance to the States - A brief provided by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Senate Bill 19-008 requires a county jail that receives funding through Jail-Based Behavioral Health Services (JBBS) to have a Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) policy in place on or before Jan. 1, 2020. Here is a sample MAT policy, protocol, and discharge interview. All of these were developed by the Steadman Group.

    Rhode Island Department of Corrections (RIDOC) MAT Program

    The Rhode Island Department of Corrections and the Opioid Response Network produced a series of instructional videos about their top-notch treatment program for opioid use disorder in correctional facilities.

    RIDOC MAT Program: Full Video- Full length video outlining the RIDOC MAT Expansion program. It is also broken out into chapters for your convenience. Setting Up the RIDOC Program- How RIDOC went about setting up the program and why MAT is important. Getting Buy-In- The importance of both getting buy-in from all levels of staff and providing appropriate training. Security- Diversion control procedures and additional security specific information. The Medline- Shows the medication line for both methadone and suboxone.



    The Impact of New Legislation on MAT in Jails
    Presented Oct. 24, 2019

    JMAT Training Thumbnail

    This slide show was used during a live online training covering the requirements and previewing the expected impacts of new legislation and funding on OBH criminal justice initiatives (with an emphasis on opioid use disorder mandated through Senate Bill 19-008). OBH representatives also provided guidance on funding deadlines and next steps.


    Introduction to MAT in Correctional Facilities
    Presented March 22, 2019

    Intro to MAT in Correctional Facilities

    Dr. Lesley Brooks, Chief Medical Officer with Sunrise Community Health and Assistant Medical Director for North Colorado Health Alliance, presents on the unique benefits to providing treatment for substance use disorders (SUD) in correctional facilities. The presentation details the medications approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and describes the basic pharmacology of medications used in MAT. The session also covers the National Commission on Correction Health Care recommendations for treatment of incarcerated people with SUD. Download the presentation slides.


    Substance Use Disorder(SUD) Treatment in Correctional Facilities: Initial Steps
    Presented April 4, 2019

    SUD in Correctional Facilities Initial Steps

    Dr. JK Costello, Senior Health Care Consultant with the Steadman Group, walks correctional facilities considering using MAT through initial planning and implementation steps. These include selecting goals for SUD treatment, determining the appropriate medications to reach the goals, evaluating local resources available to assist with treatment, and identifying considerations for assembling a team of law enforcement professionals and community members to realize the program. Download the presentation slides.

    JBBS Resources

    Training Materials

    In order to better serve our stakeholders, OBH's Criminal Justice Team offers virtual Jail-Based Behavioral Health Services (JBBS) "Roundtables". These 50-minute sessions involve program staff who are available to answer questions related to upcoming deadlines and any operational and administrative changes. All sessions will be recorded and slide decks posted. Click on the following dates to access the files.

    Learning Community Meetings

    Watch the meeting recordings:

    Quarterly Work Group Meeting Recordings