3251.0 Post-prison Reentry and Health: Addressing the Health Impacts of Incarceration on Returning Prisoners and Their Communities: The Transitional Health Clinic Model

Monday, October 31, 2011: 12:30 PM
The United States incarcerates per capita more people than any other nation in the world. Currently 2.3 million people are in prisons and jails, triple the number of inmates 30 years ago. This enormous growth of prisoners means that the numbers of people re-entering communities has also expanded. Each year 700,000 people return from prison to their community from federal and state prison; a far greater number return from local jails. From Rikers Island alone in New York City, 100,000 people come home each year. The growth of corrections budgets has created financial crises for many states that are now searching for how to decrease the numbers of incarcerated people. Given the recent legislative health care reform that will enable individuals returning from prison to be Medicaid eligible, communities are searching for solutions to address the public health issue of health care and reentry. Providing health care for people returning from imprisonment in the era of mass incarceration is a public health issue. Research shows that people returning from prison generally have greater health needs than the general population; and their own health care is a matter of concern for themselves, their families and their communities. Health needs of those returning from prison-including mental health and drug treatment-intersect with their social service needs of housing, employment, as well as their effort to cope with the many emotional and practical issues of reestablishing a life in the community. This panel will examine models of transitional clinics that implement continuity of care between incarceration and the community, emphasize the role of a patient-centered medical home, address the intersection of health care with other reentry issues such as housing, employment, relationships, stigma, self-respect and the trauma of incarceration, and provide culturally sensitive services in which formerly incarcerated individuals play a role in working with patients and clinic staff. The panel discussion will: define the public health implications of mass imprisonment for reentry and health care for individuals and communities; examine several models of reentry health clinics from both prisons and jails in different geographic locations; present the evaluations of these clinics; and discuss a national strategy for the broader development of transitional clinics.
Session Objectives: Demonstrate the need for clinics meetings the special issues faced by people returning from incarceration. Describe examples of transitional clinics.

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Organized by: Medical Care
Endorsed by: Socialist Caucus

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