GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Franklin County Correctional Facility in Greenfield was one of the first prisons in New England to offer suboxone treatment to prisoners with heroin and opioid addiction.
Now, it’ll soon be one of the first prisons in the nation to offer methadone treatment as well.
“Everyone’s addictions are different, and our treatment options have to be different,” said Sheriff Chris Donelan.
The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office received federal and state approval to expand its opioid treatment program. The new designation will allow for on-site use of methadone at its correctional facility.
The prison had already been offering suboxone since 2016, but Sheriff Donelan said they fought hard to build up the program.
“Despite the urging and the pleading of addiction specialists, the federal government has turned a deaf ear to this,” said Sheriff Donelan. “So, it took us 54 weeks of jumping through hoops to finally get the certificate and designation to be able to do this.”
Sheriff Donelan said gone are the days of an inmate coming through their facility addicted to just alcohol or cocaine. Today, he said 50 percent of their prison population is hooked on an opioid.
Brian Hemingway lives in Greenfield. He feels this new designation is positive for the entire community – especially in the long run.
“I think that’s good because if they get paroled they’ll be healthy,” Brian Hemingway told 22News.
Sheriff Donelan said many other correctional facilities are also applying to get the same certification. Franklin County’s program will be up and running in about two weeks.