Magazine article Corrections Forum

A Modernized and Integrated Approach to Medical Reentry

Magazine article Corrections Forum

A Modernized and Integrated Approach to Medical Reentry

Article excerpt

IT is a well-known fact in corrections that reentry for offenders starts on their first day of incarceration. To be truly successful in reentry to society, an offender's issues (medical, mental health, dental, substance abuse, housing, faith, food, clothing, education etc.) must be identified at intake and kept up-to-date throughout their incarceration. Further, a modernized program to assist in all these areas must be developed and implemented while the offender is still serving time.

We, at Corizon, believe we have developed such a program, a collaborative effort with the Missouri Department of Corrections, which supports offenders once they are released. It works in conjunction with MDOC current processes.

Why Focus on Medical Reentry?

In 2009, Corizon conducted a FreshEyes® Review of its Missouri Healthcare Contract using the John Gamble, Tenacity and Clients for Life Client Retention Process. [Atlantabased Tenacity developed and trademarked this unique system, a formal process of managing large, complex and valued business relationships. Strategic components of Clients for Life are individually tailored to each Tenacity client and their particular industry. John Gamble founded Tenacity in 1986.] Gamble interviewed the MDOC director, George Lombardi, and eight of his administrative staff. During the interview Corizon learned of his vision regarding reentry. While the MDOC already maintained a robust reentry program, Corizon stakeholders believed they could assist with improvements or enhancements to the existing program in the medical arena.

At that point, Corizon adopted Gamble's vision and determined to enhance or develop MDOCs reentry programs in the areas of Strategic Planning, On-Site Reference Notebooks and Quick Reference Guides for Staff, Healthcare Forms for Offenders Leaving Corrections to the Community, SSDI/Medicaid Disability Determination Notebook, Conference Presentations, Implementing a Reentry Summit and a Reentry Website for Offenders and their Families. These initiatives exceed the basics by providing medical records and medications upon release and even by assisting in placement in living centers upon discharge from corrections. Each of these programs is specially designed for Missouri and arranged by counties to assist Offenders and families in accessing various levels of care and services post incarceration.

The following is a brief summary of our major reentry initiatives:

Strategic Planning

Oftentimes reentry is a secondary thought considered to be an additional service rather than part of the foundation of services. To this end, the company has created specific strategic initiatives that are regularly updated and assessed. These objectives change as our clients' needs change or expectations in the community change. Our objectives range from education and training to working with medically complex individuals to collecting and statistically analyzing outcome data.

Healthcare from Corrections to the Community

Offenders returning home or to a new community after being released from prison might find it difficult taking full responsibility for their health needs. Often exoffenders have little to no experience dealing with managed care companies, doctors' offices and local and regional county health departments. It is critical for exoffenders to be able to successfully navigate these systems if they are to be in control of their healthcare needs as well their needs in their activities of daily living.

In order to assist ex-offenders in transitioning back to the community, we have gathered information on how to navigate the healthcare system upon release. The handbook is designed to help them find a doctor, make an appointment, prepare for a doctor's appointments and procure medications prescribed by a doctor. The handbook covers a wide array of topics and gives detailed instructions for readers to increase their efficacy in managing their physical and mental health. …

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