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MA Sheriff's Office Staff Present at NSA Conference.

The National Sheriffs' Association (NSA) held its' annual conference this week in Oklahoma City, OK. The four day tradeshow displayed products and equipment relevant to every facet of police work, jails, prisoner transport, and courtroom security. The conference also included seminars and educational content covering cutting edge topics for law enforcement at all levels. The topics ranged from recruitment and retention, jail operations, officer wellness, and more. Several Massachusetts Sheriff's Office staff attended and a few gave presentations.

Ed Hayes, the Assistant Superintendent at the Franklin County Sheriff's Office presenting at the conference.

On Monday, Ed Hayes, the Assistant Superintendent at the Franklin County Sheriff's Office (FCSO), presented on Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT). The workshop explored clinical, operational, and leadership perspectives on implementing MAT in local jails.

During Ed's 10-year tenure as Treatment Director, FCSO has been recognized nationally as a demonstration site by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) as well as the Bureau of Justice Assistance for its work with incarcerated clients with co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders. The FCSO treatment program was the first in Massachusetts and one of the first in the nation to offer a comprehensive treatment approach for incarcerated individuals living with opioid use disorder by becoming a fully licensed Opioid Treatment Program (OTP).

Worcester County Sheriff Lew Evangelidis presenting at the NSA Conference.

On Wednesday, Sheriff Lew Evangelidis from the Worcester County Sheriff's Office presented on their unique substance treatment unit for incarcerated individuals.

Sheriff Evangelidis broke down the modified therapeutic community model that his office has implemented in this unit. The space allows those who qualify to be removed from general population for the three or six-month duration of the program and placed in this rehabilitation unit and treatment clinic twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. This separation eliminates the external pressures of being in general population for those struggling to achieve sobriety. The multi-departmental effort works to address the root causes of addiction and co-occurring disorders while also setting individuals up for success beyond sobriety. The program is coupled with specialized classes and vocational opportunities, only seen in a select few correctional facilities in the country.

Since 2011, Sheriff Evangelidis has adopted a policy that emphasizes the importance of drug and alcohol rehabilitation while also maintaining a tough stance on crime. This approach has enabled his staff to comprehensively tackle the issue of substance abuse while ensuring the safety and security of residents.

The NSA conference is held annually in June.

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