Louisville Metro Government

Jail & Opiate Use

How can a jail create supports to break the cycle of drugs and incarceration?

Partners and Sponsors
Louisville Metro Government


All across the country, jails are handling a surge of high-need drug users that they are not designed to serve. Working with the innovation team from the Mayor’s Office in Louisville, Kentucky, we explored the intersection of incarceration and opioid use and examined how the jail could best respond to its current challenge.


Based on collaboration with Department of Corrections staff, jailed people, and other community members, we diagnosed six needs that they all shared and identified five promising paths for future design work. All of these paths rest on our conclusion that jail can model and support the behaviors that will help people lead more productive lives after release.

Project Team

Camilla Buchanan
Kate Krontiris
Jennifer Thibault