This fact sheet describes the features and objectives of the Peer Recovery Support Services Mentoring Initiative (PRSSMI), which is a special learning opportunity offered through the U.S. Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Assistance's (BJA's) Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Program (COAP).
The COAP supports programs, organizations, and jurisdictions that want to incorporate peer recovery support services into their portfolios of substance abuse intervention and treatment strategies. The PRSSMI has four objectives. One objective is to promote peer-to-peer learning among organizations that are implementing peer recovery support services (PRSS) in criminal justice settings. A second objective is to disseminate evidence-supported PRSS programming, promising approaches, and best practices. A third objective is to improve a community's capacity to develop PRSS as a component of organizations' diversion, alternatives to incarceration, or other criminal justice programs. The fourth objective is to improve a community's ability to implement an effective PRSS program. In the first application round of the PRSSMI, four sites were selected to serve as mentors. These programs were selected as mentors because they work with first responders, law enforcement, courts, jails, prisons, and community corrections to assist persons with opioid-use disorders in achieving and maintaining recovery from addiction. The five characteristics they met for being selected as mentors are outlined. The four mentors selected are the Faces and Voices of Recovery in Greenville, South Carolina; the Pennsylvania Recovery Organization-Achieving Community Together (PRO-ACT) under the Council of Southeast Pennsylvania; the Recovery Point of West Virginia, which serves small community and rural counties across the state; and the University of Alabama at Birmingham, School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry, Community Justice Program. The latter is a model of community, clinical, and research collaboration.