What’s Next? Leaving Jail or Prison With Health Issues


People cycling in and out of the criminal justice system suffer from a whole host of health issues–drug addiction, mental health, chronic illness–but providers rarely communicate across the various fields that care for these patients. Nearly 70 percent of adults entering jails and more than 50 percent in state prisons have a substance abuse disorder. Approximately 17 percent of adults entering jails and state prisons have a serious mental disorder. Large numbers of adults on probation and parole have a need for behavioral health treatment. Community-based treatment providers see these individuals in large numbers. The criminal justice system is the single largest source of referral to the public substance abuse treatment system.

Providers have been working to shift their thinking to create cross-system connections to address these issues. A new report, “Adults with Behavioral Health Needs Under Correctional Supervision: A Shared Framework to Reduce Recidivism and Promote Recovery” produced by the Justice Center at the Council on State Governments and SAMHSA’s Gains Center for Justice and Behavorial Health offers guidelines.

Read the report here.

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