Kenton Jail Launches Overdose Prevention, Pre-Arrest Diversion Project

The Kenton County Detention Center (KCDC) launched its new Overdose Prevention & Pre-Arrest Diversion Project. This project is funded by a three-year, $300,000 grant through the Bureau of Justice Assistance and the Department of Justice.

Over the three-year grant term, the project, led by Jason Merrick, the director of addiction services, will study the impact overdose prevention and pre-arrest diversion programs are having on northern Kentucky communities, incentivize overdose prevention and pre-arrest diversion programs in northern Kentucky, and propagate and support new and existing overdose prevention and pre-arrest diversion programs throughout northern Kentucky.

William Pfefferman will serve as the project coordinator.

“Ultimately the purpose of this project is to save lives, get people the help and resources they need, while reducing the impact the opioid crisis is having on our first responders and correctional systems,” said Merrick.

Partnerships for this project currently include: Northern Kentucky University (NKU) Action Research Partner, the City of Independence, Kenton County Police Department, Alexandria Police Department, Northern Kentucky’s Heroin Impact Response Task Force (HIRT), The Addiction Services Council (ASC), St. Elizabeth Healthcare, Transitions, Inc., Brighton Recovery Center for Women (BRC), NKY Hates Heroin (NKY HH), and People Advocating Recovery (PAR).

“There was a lot of hard work involved in obtaining this grant. I hope it serves more people with addiction,” said Kenton County Jailer Terry Carl. “And that it helps lead more people to treatment and the help they deserve.”

The Kenton County Detention Center currently operates a Jail Substance Abuse Program (JSAP) for both men and women who are currently incarcerated.

-Staff report