This session was hosted on Thursday, July 16, 2020 and is the fourth session in ACU’s Policy & Practice Series.
COVID-19 has put a spotlight on vulnerable populations, including those in prisons and jails. The ability of a jail or prison system to prepare, respond or mitigate varies, and depends in part on the roles or contribution of the community health networks. Various systems struggle with lack of leadership, collaboration, funding and other resources. Prisons have become the de facto mental health treatment facilities where as much as a third has some mental health diagnosis. In addition, prisons have a growing geriatric population with complex needs while more young adults with substance use disorders cross the doorways in vast numbers where opportunities lie for treatment intervention. Those in most need of medical services are challenged to successfully re-integrate into the community. Integrated managed care models with community partners are integral to providing continuity as the criminal justice-involved patient population traverses in and out of the prison walls. Stigma still exists for our patients as well as the health care staff providing care. At the end of the day, prison health is population health.
Johnny Wu, MD FACP FACCP CCHP-A, Chief of Clinical Operations, Centurion
John P May, MD, FACP, Chief Medical Officer, Centurion