The Bellwether Collaborative
for Health Justice
A JCOIN Initiative
The Providing Interventions for Enhancing Recovery in Community Supervision (PIERS)
study is part of the Justice Community Opioid Innovation Network (JCOIN). It is supported by the National Institutes of Health HEAL Initiative, and is a collaboration with research partners at Duke University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Brown University, Temple University, and the University of Rhode Island.
The project’s main objective is to enhance interorganizational coordination between Community Supervision departments and community-based opioid treatment providers in order to facilitate engagement in the continuum of evidence-based care for individuals
under community supervision (e.g., supervised release, probation) with opioid use disorder (OUD). The PIERS study focuses on the integration of medications for opioid use disorder (MOUD) and peer support specialists into OUD care plans for these individuals.
OUD and associated overdose deaths have risen at an alarming rate in recent years in the United States. More than 50% of incarcerated individuals have a history of substance use and over 200,000 individuals with opioid dependence pass through the U.S. criminal justice system annually. An estimated one in 55 adults under community supervision have a substance use disorder, and individuals with a history of incarceration have a significantly higher risk of dying from overdose, particularly in the first two weeks after release when individuals are at greater risk of an unintentional fatal overdose. We hope that findings from the PIERS study will improve the capacity of the U.S. criminal justice system to effectively respond to the opioid crisis.
Recruitment sites for the PIERS study include the state of Rhode Island, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Brunswick County, North Carolina.