NEWARK, NJ — Essex County Jail received $700,000 from a state grant that amounts to $7.8 million to provide treatment to prisoners battling an opioid addiction the state announced.

In 2019, Attorney General Gurbir Grewal helped to launch the “Opioid Response Teams,” which works round-the-clock throughout five hard-hit municipalities: Newark, Camden, Paterson, Trenton, and Toms River.

“Individuals leaving jail are particularly vulnerable to opioid overdose, and the death rate post-release from jail is significantly higher than in the overall population,” Human Services Commissioner Carole Johnson said in a statement. “It is imperative that we treat people with opioid use disorder with the clinical standard of care before they are released and maintain treatment post-release. We are pleased that the County Wardens are partnering with us in this critical effort to provide medication-assisted opioid treatment.”

Sign Up for Montclair Newsletter
Our newsletter delivers the local news that you can trust.

In New Jersey’s prison medication-assisted opioid treatment program, which began as a pilot program in Atlantic County, Human Services and the Department of Corrections partner to bring addiction treatment into state prisons.

“Through this powerful collaboration, we are connecting them to lifesaving treatment at a catalytic moment and getting individuals back on track to leading healthy and fulfilling lives,” said Acting Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli. “From a public health perspective, it is these types of bold and evidence-based initiatives that will ultimately lead to reducing the stigma around the epidemic and getting us to the other side.”