From Conflict to Mutual Respect: Programs for Offenders with Mental Illness and/or Substance Abuse Disorders in Albany, New York

This article highlights the success of the programs Albany County has for dealing with offenders who have mental illness and / or substance abuse disorders. Albany County Correctional Facility (ACCF) is the fifth largest county jail in New York State. Remarkably, growth in services to support the disproportionate increase in numbers of incarcerated persons with mental health and other special needs has kept pace with the huge growth in the inmate population. Mental and medical health providers at ACCF work together as a team. Close cooperation has resulted in the merging of medical and psychiatric records and the development of an integrated care system. This success and cooperation have led to new collaborative efforts. Most, if not all elements of the success are replicable. All counties and /or jurisdictions should consider this type of collaborative committee, as every individual successfully diverted to appropriate treatment is one less risk to the community (authors).

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American Jails