LAC Report on Legality of Denying MAT Access in the Criminal Justice System
The Legal Action Center's report, Legality of Denying Access to Medication Assisted Treatment in the Criminal Justice System, explains why criminal justice agencies violate Federal anti- discrimination laws and the United States Constitution when they deny access to medications, such as methadone and burprenorphine, to treat opiate addiction. The report addresses the prevalence of opiate addiction in the criminal justice system, the limited availability of methadone maintenance and buprenorphine treatment throughout the criminal justice system, as well as the causes and consequences of this limited availability. The report then analyzes the circumstances in which the denial of access to these medications violates Federal anti-discrimination laws protecting individuals with disabilities and the United States Constitution.
The report was written at the request of the American Association for the Treatment of Opioid Dependence (AATOD), who, along with the Center, has a longstanding interest in expanding the use of these medications in criminal justice settings.