At the Coming Home Program (CHP) Open House Breakfast a few weeks ago, I listened as individuals involved in New York City’s alternatives to incarceration programs discussed access to healthcare both in and outside of our state’s prisons. Those around me, Donna Hylton and Monique Carter of CHP, Michael Brundidge of The Fortune Society, and Jose Capo of Exponents, to name a few, spoke with empathy, understanding and (at times) frustration, as they described the world that New York’s formerly incarcerated individuals face when returning from prison.
In addition to acceptance, compassion, and community, their programs seek to provide high-quality access to medical care, mental health care, and job training, at a time when many formerly incarcerated individuals see door after door closing in their face.
Spearheaded by Kathy Boudin over 5 years ago, CHP “provides continuity of care for people returning from incarceration to NYC with chronic care conditions through reaching out to them in prisons, jails and halfway houses and through collaboration with CBO's who work with people with criminal justice involvement.”
The program encourages engagement and retention in medical care, through “full integration in a medical home, a one-stop-stop clinic provided to all the clinic patients; provision of targeted services that address psychosocial needs of people returning home from prison; and a particular role for formerly incarcerated staff and peers who educate all providers as to the particular needs of people with a history of criminal justice involvement and who work directly with the patients.”
The Coming Home Program is located at the Mount Sinai Institute for Advanced Medicine at 440 West 114th Street, New York NY. To read more information on HIV/AIDS among criminal justice involved individuals, download the Fortune Society’s report.