Corizon Health partners with Indiana Department of Correction on reentry efforts

Corizon Health partners with Indiana Department of Correction on reentry efforts

Members of the Paole Re-entry Liaison Program team

Indiana Department of Correction (IDOC) has contracted with Corizon Health and Indiana Minority Health Coalition (IMHC) to provide a new Parole Re-entry Liaison Program. The program’s mission is to “empower identified parolees to address and remedy the circumstances that resulted in their incarceration via collaboration and referral with appropriate community resources and support to provide an improved chance of individual success.”

Currently, IDOC has ten parole districts supervising approximately 10,000 adults and juveniles. One Parole Re-entry Liaison (PRL) is located in each parole district. These liaisons work with parolees who have been identified with health, mental health and/or substance abuse needs. Those in need of services can be referred to PRLs while still incarcerated or at any point while on parole.

Eligible parolees may be identified in facilities by health administrators, psychiatrists, nurses, case managers; or, in the community by parole agents, other re-entry liaisons or even community providers. Participation in the program is, of course, voluntary.

Upon referral, PRLs make contact with parolees and set up an intake interview. During this interview, parolees and PRLs collaborate to identify the parolee’s goals and needs. Once these are determined, the liaison will work with the parolee to create a plan to meet his/her immediate and long-term needs. Many times, parolees can access services on their own once they are pointed in the right direction. The most common needs are mental health counseling, psychiatric medications, substance abuse treatment, primary care clinics, public transportation, housing, food pantries, state identification/driver’s license, and benefits to pay for treatment services. Liaisons can work with parolees for up to a year, and length of engagement depends upon the parolee’s needs and desire to work with the PRL. In essence, liaisons serve as case managers, advocates and cheerleaders for their clients on the clients’ terms.

Liaisons spend time building bridges with community agencies to decrease barriers for parolees, since each community agency has its own intake procedures, policies and targeted populations. Liaisons become experts on their district’s multitude of community agencies. Additionally, the stigma of incarceration and felony conviction(s) creates major barriers to accessing important services and liaisons become educators to community service providers about the IDOC and offender population.

PRLs are currently working with about 400 parolees statewide. Since October 2014, PRLs have referred 158 parolees for outpatient mental health treatment, 161 for substance abuse treatment, and 60 for medical treatment. PRLs have created community partnerships with 208 community organizations.