Advancing New Opportunities:
Health Reform and Criminal Justice

COCHS and Health Affairs logos

On April 3, 2014, inWashington D.C., COCHS and Health Affairs Health held Advancing New Opportunities: Health Reform and Criminal Justice. Keynote speakers at the conference included former Assistant Attorney General, Tony West and Michael Bottecelli, Director of National Drug Control Policy at the White House under President Obama. In March of 2014, Health Affairs, working with COCHS, published its first-ever cluster of articles on health and healthcare for the jail-involved, with special attention to the implications of Medicaid expansion.

Conference panelists reviewed the salient health and criminal justice policy issues that affect the jail-involved population and provided an overview of initiatives that jurisdictions have undertaken to leverage health reform. In addition, panelist discussed the impact of the ACA on eligibility and enrollment into Medicaid and exchange plans as well as steps that jurisdictions have taken to integrate community and jail health systems. The final panel highlighted the role of health information technology for improving continuity of care and information-sharing.

Health Affairs' Articles
How Health Care Reform Can Transform The Health Of Criminal Justice–Involved Individuals
Health Affairs
The Affordable Care Act offers new opportunities to apply a public health and medical perspective to the complex relationship between involvement in the criminal justice system and the existence of fundamental health disparities.
To Improve Public Health And Safety, One Sheriff Looks Beyond The Jail Walls
“Sheriff Ashe,” she began. “My daughter is in your jail.” She was beside herself. How could this have happened, she wondered? Her daughter had become addicted to heroin and landed in the Hampden County Correctional Center.
The Impact Of Policies Promoting Health Information Technology On Health Care Delivery In Jails And Local Communities
The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act and the Affordable Care Act, are pieces of legislation favorable to jails’ implementation of health information technology (IT).
Incarceration And Release From Jail: Improving Re-integration Into SocietyUsing A Health Information Exchange
In 2010, the Camden Coalition launched a health information exchange (HIE) as part of our ongoing effort to improve care delivery. A nonprofit group called Community Oriented Correctional Health Services (COCHS) proposed bringing the jail into the HIE. It made sense.
Health Information Exchange In NYC Jails: Early Policy Challenges
The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s Bureau of Correctional Health Services (CHS) is responsible for the care delivered in all 12 NYC jail facilities. As part of this mission, CHS implemented a full electronic health record (EHR) system starting in 2008, completing the implementation of the final facility in 2011.
How Will California’s Penal System Respond To The ‘Perfect Storm’?
California’s system of incarceration is in the midst of sweeping changes. Recent shifts in state and federal law, motivated and bolstered by Supreme Court decisions, have created a perfect storm for institutional change.
What The Affordable Care Act Means For Pregnant Inmates
Pregnant incarcerated women generally have increased rates of complicated and preterm deliveries, and the costs of these complications are not lost on corrections officials. The ACA will facilitate more extensive training for corrections staff and connections with community agencies that are enrolling inmates.
Ethical Dilemmas In Prison And Jail Health Care
Prison and jail health care, despite occasional pockets of inspiration, provided by programs affiliated with academic institutions, is an arena of ethical conflict in which healthcare providers must negotiate with prison officials to provide necessary and decent care.
Case Studies From Three States: Breaking Down Silos Between Health Care and Criminal Justice
Current policy silos between health care and criminal justice need to be broken down in order to benefit both sectors and reduce unnecessary costs resulting from lack of coordination.