The millions of people who cycle through our nation’s courts, jails, and prisons every year experience far higher rates of chronic health problems, infectious diseases, substance use, and serious mental illness than the general population. Justice Reform for Healthy Communities is a year-long initiative that aims to improve the health and well-being of individuals and communities most affected by mass incarceration. Guided by a national advisory board comprised of public health and criminal justice policymakers, practitioners, researchers, and advocates, the initiative advances its mission through public education, coalition building, briefings, and publications.
To raise awareness of the link between public health and mass incarceration.
Devise and share solutions that address health inequities, bolster community capacities, reduce reliance on arrest and incarceration for public health problems, and take advantage of new opportunities created by the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Promote principles of public health, including health promotion and harm reduction to change the mission and culture of justice systems.
Key Fact & Resource
Creating a Recovery-Informed Framework for Integrated Mental Health and Criminal Justice Responses
The number of people diagnosed with serious mental illness in the U.S. criminal justice system has reached unprecedented levels. Increasingly, people recognize that the justice system is no substitute for a well-functioning community mental health system. Although a range of targeted interventions have emerged over the past two decades, existing ap...