This paper outlines the importance of linking offenders with local health care providers who they can continue to see after release and provides a number of examples of successful initiatives in which community health providers have collaborated with jails to provide better connectivity and continuity of care for offenders who return to the community.
Author Keith Barton explains the mission of Community Oriented Correctional Health Services (COCHS), a non-profit that seeks to foster partnerships between jails and local health care providers. COCHS recognizes the jails' important role in providing healthcare services for offenders and the need for continuity of this care when individuals are released. To that end, they promote the establishment of medical homes where offenders released to the community can get regular, timely and well-organized care as an effective approach to reduce the use of emergency health services. Keith Barton also describes a number of effective COCHS initiatives, which target specific justice involved populations like juveniles and individuals with substance use issues.