6th Academic and Health Policy Conference on Correctional Health Comes to Chicago

Chicago, Ill. – The United States incarcerates more people than any other country in the world.  On any given day, one in 100 adults is serving time behind bars.  And, according to a 2005 report by the federal Bureau of Justice, more than half of all inmates had a mental health condition, and approximately the same percentage had a substance dependence or abuse problem.[i]

Untreated mental health and addiction pose significant policy challenges and result in enormous financial costs for the nation’s correctional systems.

Experts from around the country will discuss these and other critical topics at the 6th Academic and Health Policy Conference on Correctional Health on March 21-22.  The conference will take place at the Chicago Airport Marriott O’Hare, 8535 West Higgins Rd., Chicago.

A major theme of this year’s conference is improving the integration of medical and behavioral health care for inmates.  The meeting offers correctional health professionals the chance to learn and share best practices to improve the health of inmates they treat.  It also provides a platform for leaders in the field to present innovative research on reducing the social and financial costs of incarceration.

Robert Rosenheck, M.D., from Yale University, will kick off the conference on Thursday, March 21, at 9 a.m., with his keynote address entitled “Systems Integration: Evidence Based Practice or Holy Grail Veterans with Experience in the Criminal Justice System.”

Chicago Experts to Present:

·         Reducing untreated addiction and psychiatric disorders can help lead to lower rates of recidivism in Cook County.  That is the view of Presiding Judge Paul P. Biebel, Jr., chief judge for the criminal courts within the Circuit Court of Cook County.  Judge Biebel, will share his thoughts on this issue when he presents to the conference on Friday, March 22, at 8:00 a.m.

·         Linda Teplin, Ph.D., from Northwestern University will offer the plenary address on the health needs and outcomes of youth in the juvenile justice system, based on her work on the Northwestern Juvenile Project.  Dr. Teplin’s presentation will take place on Friday, March 22, at 9:45 a.m.

The University of Massachusetts Medical School’s Commonwealth Medicine division and its Health and Criminal Justice Programs sponsor the conference in partnership with the Academic Consortium on Criminal Justice Health. This unique forum is also funded through grants from the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the Jacob and Valeria Langeloth Foundation.

The grant funding provides scholarships for 12 junior research investigators and 6 students, all of whom will be recognized during the two-day meeting. 

This year’s conference will include participants from five countries and 23 states, representing 97 different academic and correctional institutions. Attendees will include researchers, clinicians, administrators, educators, policy makers, and grant funding professionals.

About the University of Massachusetts Medical School

The University of Massachusetts Medical School, one of the fastest-growing academic health sciences centers in the country, has built a reputation as a world-class research institution, consistently producing noteworthy advances in clinical and basic research. The Medical School attracts more than $255 million in research funding annually, 80 percent of which comes from federal funding sources. The mission of the Medical School is to advance the health and well-being of the people of Massachusetts and the world, through pioneering education, research, public service and health care delivery. Commonwealth Medicine, the Medical School’s health care consulting and operations division, provides a wide range of care management and consulting services to government agencies and health care organizations. For more information, visit commed.umassmed.edu. 

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