March 30, 2023
Dear Colleague:
As you know, COCHS has been working to connect community and correctional health systems since our founding in 2005. Our vision is simple: in order to improve the lives of people inside and outside of our jails and prisons, people deserve high-quality, integrated, patient-centered care wherever they receive it.
We have recently completed Beyond The Inmate Exclusion Project funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which aimed to understand the challenges and opportunities for collaboration between community health systems and correctional health systems. The project involved interviews with partners in both health and justice settings, and the findings have been published in a brief and a series of nine targeted briefs.
The brief, Breaking The Cycle: The Expanding Role Of Medicaid In The Criminal-Legal System, highlights the challenges that people who are incarcerated face in accessing the care they need. It also discusses the impact of the Medicaid inmate exclusion rule on both community health systems and correctional health systems. The inmate exclusion has limited access to care when people need it the most, inhibited the ability of providers to offer high-quality care, and has driven costs to our health and justice systems.
The nine targeted briefs provide specific examples of how community health systems and criminal-legal systems can collaborate to improve the health of people who are involved with the justice system by providing increased access to high-quality care that will ultimately lower system costs. These briefs cover a range of topics, including:
  • Leveraging data systems for enhanced collaboration;
  • Using Medicaid funding for improved substance abuse treatment and health screenings;
  • Collaborating with health partners to enhance diversion opportunities; and
  • Leveraging case management benefits to enhance patient-centered community supervision.
We hope that these briefs will be a helpful resource for anyone who is interested in collaborating.
As always, if you have any questions about the briefs, the project, or where we can go together next, please do not hesitate to reach out.

Dan Mistak, MA, MS, JD
Acting President
Director of Health Care Initiatives for Justice-Involved Individuals
2023 Atlantic Fellow for Health Equity