In a return to Arizona Public Media’s special reporting series Arizona Addicted, Lorraine Rivera toured the Pima County Adult Detention Complex to learn more about how staff treat inmates struggling with addiction or behavioral health issues. She learned more about a recent partnership between Pima County and the health care provider Centurion. The three-year contract costs about $50 million and provides inmates with access to care 24 hours a day. The services are especially useful when staff encounter an inmate dealing with a substance misuse disorder.
“If we can treat their problems here and we can get them into services, we’re going to save taxpayers money on the other end. This population is a high utilizer of all of the county services. The hospitals, the EMS units, the [crisis response center]. If we can help them here, perhaps we can decrease that overutilization on the outside,” said Linda Everett, program manager for Pima County Behavioral Health.