Federal court rules New York correctional facility must provide prescription methadone to inmates
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Federal court rules New York correctional facility must provide prescription methadone to inmates

The US District Court for the Northern District of New York Monday issued an order which granted a preliminary injunction allowing non-pregnant inmates with opioid use disorders the Jefferson County Correctional Facility to access methadone prescriptions.

In granting the injunction, the court said “all non-pregnant individuals who are or will be detained at the Jefferson County Correctional Facility and had or will have prescriptions for agonist medication for opioid use disorder [such as methadone] at the time of entry into defendants’ custody” should be given access to their medication.

In 2021, the New York legislature passed legislation requiring correctional facilities to establish “a program for the use of medication assisted treatment for inmates” and “to amend the mental hygiene law in relation to the implementation of substance use disorder treatment and transition services in jails[.]”

This class action began when two inmates sued Jefferson County alleging that the facility’s policy banning opiate use disorder medication for non-pregnant inmates in custody violated the Americans with Disabilities Act, Eighth Amendment, Fourteenth Amendment, and related state law.

Additionally, a preliminary injunction was granted which bans the Jefferson County correctional facility from enforcing its methadone ban for inmates in their custody.