When Timothy Miller reached the Hampden County Correctional Center, in Ludlow, Massachusetts, in 2004, it was at least the 15th time he’d been incarcerated there. Miller, diagnosed with HIV in 1985, would always see Dr. Thomas Lincoln inside. “He’d get me healthy again,” says Miller, “only to [have me] destroy it once I got out.” But unlike the almost 40,000 other positive Americans who are released yearly from jails and prisons, Miller also sees the same physician on the outside. So when Miller finally decided to turn his life around, he already had a doctor who could help him. Lincoln is a provider in the Public Health Model of Correctional Health Care, which matches inmates who have chronic illnesses with neighborhood docs. This spring, recognizing the program’s success, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation started Community Oriented Correctional Health Services, which helps correctional facilities start similar programs. Sounds like the ideal verdict.
Raising the bar on released inmates’ treatment