BJA Peer Recovery Support Services Mentor Initiative: Mentor Application

While there is no current data on opioid addiction among criminal justice involved individuals, it is estimated that two-thirds of persons in correctional settings have a substance use disorder, and that 9 -13 percent were using opioids regularly before their incarceration (Krawczyk, Picher, Feder, and Saloner, 2017). Research suggests that incarcerated individuals are more than 100 times more likely to die of an overdose in the two weeks post-release than members of the general population and that use of opioids—including prescription pain relievers, heroin, and synthetic opioids —is linked with a higher rate of recidivism  (Spaulding, Seals,et al., 2009).

In the context of child welfare, increases in drug overdose deaths and drug-related hospitalizations are correlated with increasing the rates of child protective services reports, substantiated reports, and foster care placements, and with more complex and severe child welfare cases (Radel, Baldwin, Crouse, Ghertner, and Waters, 2018). 

Increasingly, peer recovery support services (PRSS) are an important—and sometimes central—part of efforts to effectively address these issues, as part of the continuum of care for substance use disorders. 

The Peer Recovery Support Services Mentoring Initiative (PRSSMI) supports jurisdictions interested in incorporating PRSS in their portfolio of substance abuse intervention and treatment strategies. The purpose of the initiative is to:

  • Enhance the capacity of selected jurisdictions to develop a PRSS as a component of their diversion or alternatives to incarceration programs.
  • Improve the jurisdiction’s ability to successfully implement an PRSS program, in collaboration with community partners.

PRSSMI is seeking jurisdictions that are experienced in implementing PRSS to be mentors to other jurisdictions that are early in the process of implementing PRSS.  To be mentors, we seek programs that:

  • Advocate the value peer support services within the larger context of behavioral health, recovery-oriented systems of care, criminal justice, and/or child welfare
  • Leverage the uniqueness of peer status in program design
  • Have clearly defined roles for peers and other staff
  • Use sound evidence-supported practices and policies
  • Engage in systematic recruitment, screening, and hiring of peer workers
  • Provide (or require) training in core competencies (basic) and specialized skills (advanced) for peer staff
  • Promote continuing education and development for peer staff
  • Train non-peer staff in value and purpose of peer supports
  • Provide appropriate supervision of peer workers
  • Focus on outcomes; use data to assess program efficacy
  • Demonstrate that their intervention leads to positive  outcomes
  • Demonstrate strong collaboration among the courts, child welfare, substance abuse treatment agencies and others

This  form is for jurisdictions to apply to be a mentor site that will host others.  Please complete form and upload supporting documents.  You may save and complete your application across several sessions. 

Download and preview the application questions or click "Next" to start your application.