Improving Peer Support for Justice Impacted

(July 5, 2023) Reposted from NYAPRS ENews

NYAPRS Note: Peer support has been proven to be an effective way to support people dealing with substance use challenges by helping them stay connected to services and improve recovery outcomes. While we have begun undertaking great efforts to expand peer support to many sectors, there is still much work to be done getting peers imbedded in non-traditional service areas, such as jails and prisons. To support the efforts of expanding peer support, the Biden-Harris Administration and the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released the new National Model Standards for Substance Use, Mental Health, and Family Peer Worker Certifications.

These standards will help states not only increase the peer workforce but also support their inclusion in more systems touching those with mental health and substance use challenges. There is still much work to be done at the state level, especially in New York. Peer support has been shown to improve the lives of people touched by the justice system and reduce recidivism for those in re-entry programs. 

NYAPRS is doing our part to advance peer support for justice involved people by sponsoring and participating in The NYC Justice Peer Initiative’s (JPI) conference Building the Justice Peer Community in New York: Pushing Policy & Progress Forward.

Click here to read HHS’ official announcement of the National Model Standards for Peer Support Certification. Read below to learn more about the hurdles New York peer support providers are currently facing when trying to offer services in state jails.  

New York Mandates Peer Support in Jails, But Lets Sheriffs Keep Peers Out Formerly incarcerated “peers” offer drug counseling to people in county jails — when they can get in.

By Spencer Norris | New York Focus | May 31, 2023 
(Read More) New York Mandates Peer Services. Jails Lock Them Out. | New York Focus (

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