03/20/2015

Increasingly, U.S. jails and prisons are the first chance for people with mental health and substance use problems to receive treatment. That population of justice-system-involved people tends to stay longer and return more frequently to corrections facilities. Yet the lack of communication between justice and public health systems has traditionally impeded the delivery and continuity of care. On September 17, 2014, the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration convened a two-day conference aimed to identify what prevents communication between justice and health systems and to develop solutions for connecting community providers and correctional facilities using health information technology (HIT). These proceedings describe the sessions, outlining challenges to instituting HIT solutions for information sharing as well as examples of how HIT is facilitating connections between health and justice systems in several jurisdictions.