According to Times Union, Albany County jail will begin offering inmates suffering from opioid addiction access to three medication-assisted treatments, becoming the first correctional facility in the state outside of New York City to do so. This is in response to the recent declaration of an opioid addiction epidemic.

Here is what Sherriff Apple had to say about the new program:

"Taking a health approach to this crisis requires that evidence-based care and treatment be offered in as many settings as possible," Apple said in a media advisory. "Available research shows that use of Medication Assisted Treatment tools such as buprenorphine, methadone and naltrexone within correctional settings decreases the rates of overdose post-release, improves connectivity to care and treatment, and improves psychosocial outcomes."

What do you think of programs like this? Do they really make a difference? It's quite contradictory to some of the political ramblings about getting tough on crime. Programs like this treat people who are addicted to drugs more like a health risk than someone breaking the law.

This same energy wasn't given to people in the 80's and 90's they were meant with mandatory minimum sentences for crack cocaine. In turn, destroying families, and increasing the prison populations across the country a lot of these people are still in prison.