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Psychiatr Serv. 2011 Feb;62(2):120-2. doi: 10.1176/

The Jail Inreach Project: linking homeless inmates who have mental illness with community health services.

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  • 1Department of Family and Community Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, 3701 Kirby Dr., Suite 600, Houston, TX 77098, USA.


The Jail Inreach Project is a health care-based intensive case management "inreach" program that engages incarcerated persons from the homeless population who have behavioral health disorders (mental illness, substance use disorder, or both) in establishing a plan for specific postrelease services. The Jail Inreach Project aims to provide continuity of care and integrate this highly marginalized subpopulation of homeless persons into primary and behavioral health care systems by establishing patient-centered health homes. The use of integrated primary and behavioral health models in conjunction with provisions for immediate access to and continuity of care upon release is emerging as a best practice in combating the rapid cycling of this vulnerable population between streets and shelters, emergency centers, and the county jail. Preliminary results indicate that more than half of the persons referred to the program remained successfully linked with services postrelease, whereas slightly less than one-third who engaged in services while incarcerated did not retain linkage on release.

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