COCHS works at the nexus of public safety and community health. Our goal is to establish medical homes for offenders in their communities so that people involved with the criminal justice system can get the health care services they need, regardless of their criminal justice status and regardless of whether they are in jail or in the community.
We operate at several levels: as a national convener of stakeholders with an interest in the health and health care of jail-involved populations, as a think tank on issues concerning correctional and community health and health care, and as a provider of technical assistance to local jurisdictions. We have expertise in a range of areas, including:
- Criminal Justice
- Correctional health
- Publicly funded health care delivery systems
- Health care policy development
- Health information technology
- Health care reform
WHAT IS CONNECTIVITY?
Connectivity is COCHS’ underlying principle. Historically, jails have operated as islands, separate from their communities. But the non-violent offenders and misdemeanants who make up the bulk of the jail population typically cycle back and forth between the jail and their local community. They tend to be a high-needs population as well, with high rates of chronic and behavioral health problems.
Yet for many of these people, the only times they get health care are when they are in jail. They need medical homes in their community. Connectivity establishes the crucial necessary link between health care provided in jail and health care provided in the community, so that jail-involved persons can get the health care services they need, regardless of whether they are in jail or in the community.
There are many forms of connectivity and strategies for achieving it. . Part of COCHS’ mission is to help jurisdictions develop and implement a strategy for building connectivity that is tailored to their needs, resources and circumstances.