About Justice and Health Connect

Justice and Health Connect aims to increase the capacity of government agencies and community organizations to share information across behavioral health and justice systems. This website was developed to host the information and tools necessary to implement information sharing initiatives.

Justice and Health Connect is a project of the Substance Use and Mental Health Program at the Vera Institute of Justice supported by the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Bureau of Justice Assistance.

Who We Are

The Vera Institute of Justice is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit center for justice policy and practice with offices located in New York, Washington, DC, New Orleans, and Los Angeles. Vera’s work combines expertise in research, demonstration projects, and technical assistance to help leaders in government and civil society improve the systems people rely on for justice and safety. Vera’s Substance Use and Mental Health Program conducts research and provides technical assistance to help public officials and community organizations develop empirically driven responses to the substance use and mental health needs of people involved in justice systems.

The Project Team

Jim Parsons, director, Substance Use and Mental Health Program. Jim’s work on substance use and mental health has included studies measuring the coincidence of mental illness and incarceration in New York City and Washington, DC; the provision of jail-to-community reentry services in New York and Los Angeles; and public health interventions for substance users.

David Cloud, program associate, Substance Use and Mental Health Program. David joined the Justice and Health Connect team in 2012 with a JD/MPH(candidate) and a background in research on legal and ethical issues arising in adult  mental health courts. He serves as Vera’s resident expert on justice and health information sharing as well as the implications of the Affordable Care Act for the justice system-involved population.

Olivia Sideman, research analyst, Substance Use and Mental Health Program. Olivia joined the Justice and Health Connect team in 2011 with both a legal and research background and experience working on a diverse range of issues in the criminal justice field, including the child welfare system, New York City’s family courts, and prosecutorial discretion.

The Expert Panel

John Baldwin, director, Iowa Department of Corrections. Mr. Baldwin oversees the operations of nine correctional institutions, eight community-based correctional agencies (CBC’s), and the DOC Central Office. The Iowa DOC is recognized as a leader in the field of corrections practice and is known for its offender management system, including a robust electronic medical record and an advanced evidence-based practice model.

Michael Jacobson,  Dr. Jacobson is a professor of sociology at the City University of New York Graduate Center, where he is leading a new public and fiscal policy institute for state and local governments.  He served as the director and president of the Vera Institute of Justice,  New York City correction commissioner from 1995 to 1998, and was the city’s probation commissioner from 1992 to 1996. He is the author of Downsizing Prisons: How to Reduce Crime and End Mass Incarceration (New York University Press 2005).

Robert May, assistant director, Integrated Justice Information Sharing (IJIS) Institute. Mr. May has 36 years of experience in criminal justice, including 12 years in law enforcement and 24 years consulting on criminal justice projects. His criminal justice experience has included work at the American Jail Association on drug treatment programming and at the Association of State Correctional Administrators, where, as associate director, he worked on projects to improve correctional information sharing. In his current role at the IJIS Institute, he continues to develop justice information-sharing initiatives across the United States.

Jeff Mellow, professor, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York. Dr. Mellow is a professor in the Department of Criminal Justice. He has conducted research and evaluations on a wide variety of correctional topics, including alternatives to incarceration, reentry, and correctional health care programs.

William J. Rudman, executive director and vice president of education, American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). Dr. Rudman’s primary research areas include the use of health information technology (HIT) to reduce health disparity, the adoption of HIT/health information management (HIM) in rural communities, workforce development, and workflow and work-practice redesign. He currently serves as a reviewer for several scholarly journals and is the editor in chief of Perspectives in Health Information Management, the research journal of AHIMA.

Henry Steadman, president, Policy Research Associates. Dr. Steadman is an internationally renowned researcher and author on the relationship between behavioral health and criminal justice systems and violence among people with mental health disorders. Prior to co-founding PRA in 1987, Dr. Steadman ran a nationally known research bureau for 17 years at the New York State Office of Mental Health.

Robert L. Trestman, professor of medicine and executive director, Correctional Managed Health Care, University of Connecticut Health Center. Dr. Trestman oversees the provision of all physical and mental health care to inmates in Connecticut’s jails, prisons, and half way houses. He also conducts translational research on correctional mental health. He previously served as clinical vice chair of Psychiatry at The Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York and at the University of Connecticut Health Center.

Paul Wormeli, executive director emeritus, Integrated Justice Information Sharing Institute. Mr. Wormeli has had a long career in the field of law enforcement and justice technology with a focus on working with justice agencies nationwide to facilitate information sharing. He was the first national project director of Project SEARCH and chair of both the Integrated Justice Information Systems Industry Working Group (IWG) and the Executive Steering Committee of the Justice Training and Technical Assistance Committee, both formed at the request of the U.S. DOJ to help facilitate the national implementation of integrated justice information systems and information sharing.


For any questions or to request further information, please contact the Justice and Health Connect team.

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