Drug and Alcohol Programs

Substance Abuse Services
We provide substance use rehabilitation programs to incarcerated individuals with funding through the Jail Collaborative. Working with the court system and the Department of Adult Probation, some individuals with substance use disorders may be considered for an alternative to incarceration.

Substance Use Programs

Incarcerated individuals are screened for substance-abuse dependency during intake at the jail. Intake nurses notify clinicians who then conduct screening assessments. Assessments are also conducted upon incarcerated individual's request or referral from staff. Once assessed, incarcerated individuals may be transferred to a Treatment or Education program housing unit or may be referred into other services.

Outpatient Drug and Alcohol Treatment

The Outpatient D&A program offers individual and group D&A therapy to clients on a weekly basis. The program is based on a continuity of care model with outpatient services beginning in the jail and continuing after release. After release, the program facilitates a transition to community-based outpatient D&A services with a variety of providers.

Drug and Alcohol Education Pod (5E)

The D&A education pod provides a structured living environment with D&A services, including triage, education and aftercare. Clients are assessed to determine appropriate level of care.

Clients recommended to D&A education (Re-Entry Center) will remain on 5E and participate in drug and alcohol classes while waiting for a space to be available in either of these programs.

Clients referred to in-house Drug and Alcohol Education will complete a 12-week program. Upon completion they will be discharged from 5E.

A 16-week Drug and Alcohol Aftercare curriculum is provided on 5E for clients who have completed either inpatient D&A (on 5MC) or the Family Based D&A program (Reentry Center). Those who complete the 16-week aftercare may remain on 5E as a graduate participant or return to the general jail population.

Drug and Alcohol Education Classes

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy modeled D&A curriculum focuses on topics such as lapse and relapse prevention, increasing motivation and the effects of addiction on the family. Eligible incarcerated individuals are assessed by the provider for eligibility to participate in family-based services. The program consists of six weeks of group education, four days per week (Monday - Thursday) for an hour and a half each day.

The Addiction and Trauma program offers gender specific D&A education for women. The program is a six-week education curriculum and meets for three hours each week.

Drug and Alcohol Diversion Program

The Fifth Judicial District Court of Common Pleas, the Allegheny County Jail and the Department of Human Services have partnered to divert individuals with substance use disorders to treatment and recovery, in lieu of incarceration. The Allegheny County Jail employs treatment coordinators who are responsible for assessing incarcerated individuals assigned to the Drug and Alcohol Diversion Program. Through the assessment, the treatment coordinator creates a service plan and refers eligible incarcerated individuals to treatment providers based upon the individual’s level of care requirements. Once an inmate is released to treatment, the treatment coordinators monitor the incarcerated individual’s treatment progress and reports the individual's discharge status to The Fifth Judicial District Court of Common Pleas. The utilization of the Diversion program is a viable option for addressing the treatment needs of individuals in Allegheny County Jail.

The Process

  1. The individual is assessed by a treatment coordinator
  2. The coordinator creates a service plan
  3. The coordinator refers eligible incarcerated individuals to treatment providers based upon the inmate’s level of care requirements
  4. The individual is released to treatment
  5. The coordinator monitors the treatment progress
  6. The coordinator reports the incarcerated individual’s successful treatment discharge to the Court

Since the development of this program, and the expansion of services to the Court, judges in the Criminal Division and the Department of Adult Probation continue to utilize the program as a viable option for addressing the treatment needs of offenders in Allegheny County.