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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 230201 Find in a Library
Title: Building Connectivity Into Local Correctional Health Care
Journal: Corrections Today  Volume:71  Issue:6  Dated:December 2009  Pages:22,24,25
Author(s): Keith Barton
Date Published: December 2009
Page Count: 3
Type: Program/Project Description
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article describes the work of Community Oriented Correctional Health Services (COCHS), a nonprofit organization that fosters partnerships between local jails and community health centers.
Abstract: COCHS emphasizes the establishment of medical homes where offenders in the community can get regular, timely, and well-organized care, including management of chronic conditions. This approach has been shown to reduce the use of crowded public hospitals and emergency departments. COCHS views jails as one of several places in the community where people receive medical and mental health care. As part of the community, jails can work in partnership with neighborhood health centers, public health officials, mental health providers, social service agencies, and local housing authorities to improve public health, reduce crime and recidivism, and support offender reentry. Under a community-based approach to health care, all offenders are screened at intake for a range of medical conditions. Mental health screening focuses on maintaining inmates on the most effective medication for reducing assault. Because jail detainees generally return to their home communities and because many are in jail for short periods, jails are excellent places to detect, treat, and interrupt the spread of communicable diseases in a high-risk, risk-taking population with limited access to health care. Under a community-based approach to health care, offenders leaving jail have a medical home at a neighborhood health center not only for themselves, but also for their families. COCHS work with a diversity of local correctional systems. A new partner program, Juvenile Offenders Community Health Services (JOCHS), involves creating stable connections between juvenile justice centers and community health services. In addition, COCHS is promoting partnerships between corrections and community providers who treat drug addiction. This article describes examples of COCHS' work with specific States, counties, and cities in establishing partnerships between public health agencies and correctional agencies.
Main Term(s): Corrections policies
Index Term(s): Healthcare; Inmate health care; Interagency cooperation; Jails; Offender mental health services; Post-release programs; Prerelease programs; Reentry
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