Online Program

Medical Alternatives to Incarceration: Health Liaison to the Court Advocates for Community Health and Health in All Policies

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 : 12:30 p.m. - 12:50 p.m.

Alison O. Jordan, LCSW, Correctional Health Services' Transitional Health Care Coordination, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, East Elmhurst, NY
Jacqueline Cruzado-Quinones, Correctional Health Services, Transitional Health Care Coordination, NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Rikers Island, NY
Randi Sinnreich, LMSW, Correctional Health Services, NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, East Elmhurst, NY
Lea Hane, Correctional Health Services, NYC Department of Health and Mental, East Elmhurst, NY
Ross MacDonald, MD, Correctional Health Services, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, East Elmhurst, NY
Zachary Rosner, MD, Correctional Health Services, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Queens, NY
Homer D. Venters, MD MS, Correctional Health Services, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygeine, Queens, NY
NYC Correctional Health Services oversees health services on Rikers Island, the second largest jail system in the US. CHS’ provides health-based court advocacy to facilitate community alternatives to incarceration, compassionate release, and sentence reduction. CHS acts as a Health Liaison to the courts by creating a service plan to address health and social service needs of the client while addressing public safety.

By providing health information to the courts and coordinating activities among the medical team, jail-based care coordinators, Alternatives to Incarceration  programs and the legal system, CHS has faciliated over 700 community placements in lieu of incarceration. The Health Liaison approach addresses the need for systemic collaboration between ATI programs and the justice system to remove the need for incarceration as well as facilitate compassionate release and placement into a skilled nursing, behavioral health treatment or other community programs.

In 2014, 735 people incarcerated in NYC jails consented to and received Health Liaison services.  Of these, 390 were diverted to ATI, 109 were placed in community treatment programs not requiring court supervision, 113 were restored to parole after revocation, 82 were granted compassionate release, and 41 had the term of incarceration reduced in the interest of justice.  In total, 345 (46.9%) of those receiving CHS Health Liaison services would have otherwise remained incarcerated.  By offering information unavailable to the courts, and improving individual health outcomes, CHS' Health Liaison approach reduces the impact of incarceration on communities with the greatest health disparities.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Advocacy for health and health education
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related public policy
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the impact of mass incarceration on public health and need for community planning Describe program design and outcomes that demonstrate the impact of strategic shifts in health policies and incarceration practices.

Keyword(s): Criminal Justice, Community Health Planning

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have worked in NYC jails for over 30 years and helped design and develop the HIV Continuum of Care model, an evidence-based approach to transitioning people from jail to the community, and have contributed to the literature in the field. I designed and developed the Health Liaison to the courts approach and was integral in the Jail Linkages Initiative.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.