High rates of substance use and overdoses among people interfacing with the criminal justice system have highlighted a need for judges to be more informed and aware of substance use disorders and optimal treatment approaches. In 2020 and 2021, the Appalachian/Midwestern Regional Judicial Opioid Initiative sponsored a pilot project to engage both the judiciary and medical communities. Using the Project ECHO model, the educational series delivered sessions focused on responding to opioid use disorder from a judicial perspective. Through the pilot known as Project ECHO for the Judiciary, participating judges learn about treatments for opioid use disorder and develop a greater foundational understanding of substance use disorders to help inform decisions in the courtroom that may lead to positive outcomes and long-term recovery for their participants.
This webinar will provide an overview of the pilot of Project ECHO for the Judiciary and the components needed for an effective Project ECHO for the Judiciary program. This presentation will also include two speakers that will share their experiences as a judge and as a physician participating in the program along with outcomes regarding changes in knowledge and beliefs related to substance use disorders and treatment. Information about early efforts to sustain Project ECHO for the Judiciary in one state will also be provided.