BRENTWOOD, Tenn., June 18, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Corizon Health recently won a competitive bidding process to continue providing medical and mental health services to offenders in the Passaic County Jail. The health services contract begins this month and continues for three years, with options to renew for another two years.
Serving an average daily population of about 600 offenders in Passaic County, New Jersey, the facility has been a Corizon client since 2011. The new contract continues medical services and expands the provision of mental health services, reflecting a national trend in correctional facilities focused on reducing recidivism by improving offender health status for the long term.
For the Passaic facility, Corizon also works with the county to administer an addiction treatment program for offenders that is funded by a grant from the state of New Jersey.
”With more than 20 percent of our inmate patients diagnosed with a serious mental illness and eighty percent with substance-use disorders, we are proud to provide quality care and expand our staffing and programs to meet the needs of this population,” said psychiatrist Joel Federbush, M.D., head of behavioral health services for Corizon at the Passaic facility. “Corizon provides both individual and group mental health and substance abuse counseling in partnership with the Passaic County re-entry program, including medication-assisted treatment (MAT), to give patients the best chance at success upon release back into our community.”
Corizon’s partnership with the county also helped spur a series of improvements in healthcare delivery there that were required and monitored by federal courts. In November 2018, U.S. District Judge Jose Linares vacated the final portion of the consent decree requiring improvements and monitoring to ensure safe and humane conditions for inmates at Passaic County Jail. (The mental-health requirements of the court’s monitoring had been satisfied the previous year, in the spring of 2017.) Portions of the court agreement included healthcare requirements, so Corizon worked with the PCJ to improve the delivery of medical and mental health services and provide timely access to specialty care and chronic disease treatment, in addition to implementing an electronic medical record and obtaining medical accreditation for the jail from the National Commission for Correctional Health Care (NCCHC).
Corizon’s work also led to more aggressive screening and treatment for mental illness, including enhancements to programs that place inmates on special watch and preparation of mentally ill inmates to return to the community (through re-entry programs).
Passaic County Jail Warden Michael Tolerico commented on the extension of the Corizon partnership: “The turnaround in our jail’s healthcare program since we made the decision to outsource services to Corizon Health in 2011 has been nothing short of remarkable. Working together we have not only obtained full compliance to extensive requirements of a federal consent decree in just six years, but we have also achieved accreditation by the NCCHC for the first time ever in 2013 and re-accreditation in 2017. These achievements just highlight some of the significant accomplishments at our jail and show that Corizon’s staff are consummate professionals, clearly committed to the health of our inmates and to our successful operations. It is a pleasure to continue to our working relationship.”
“We are delighted to continue our longstanding partnership with Passaic County and look forward to several more years of providing best practices and evidence-based medicine to improve the health and safety of the county’s patients and reduce recidivism,” said Robert Orrick, vice president of operations for Corizon.
Corizon Health is a pioneering provider of correctional healthcare services in the United States, providing quality healthcare services to states and municipalities across the country for more than forty years. Corizon offers comprehensive solutions for medical care, behavioral care, pharmaceutical and re-entry services. For more information, please visit www.corizonhealth.com.