The mission of OMH is to improve the health of racial and ethnic minority populations through the development of health policies and programs to eliminate health disparities.
OMH serves as the focal point in HHS for leadership, policy development and coordination, service demonstrations, information
exchange, coalition and partnership building, and related efforts to address the health needs of racial and ethnic minorities.The importance of providing support for formerly incarcerated individuals successful reentry to their communities as a critical tool in breaking the cycle of drug use and crime, providing a second chance, and improving the public health and public safety of our communities is widely recognized.
RE-LINK will demonstrate the effectiveness of multiple stakeholders working together to implement a model transition process.
Approximately 2. 2 million individuals are prisoners in the United States.
About 60 percent of U. S. prisoners are either African American or Latino.
In the United States, about one in every 35 African American men and one in every 88 Latino men is serving time, compared to one in 214 white men.
Studies show that approximately two-thirds of those formerly incarcerated will likely be rearrested within three years of release.
In addition, more than 80% of state prisoners, 72% of federal prisoners, and 82% of jail inmates meet the criteria for having either a mental or substance use issue.
Upon release from incarceration, transitional housing, or substance use disorder treatment programs, high-risk transitional populations may enter into a fragmented system that does not link them to appropriate health, behavioral health, social and supportive services, employment, mentoring and housing.
While there are currently some forms of extensive case management, navigation, and coordination services provided to reentry and transitional populations, the availability of such services varies by state.
Moreover, the referral and/or coordination services that are available may not be sufficiently intensive or comprehensive, due to severely limited community resources.
Decreased accessibility to the job market, lack of job skills, lack of a medical home, and limited community resources coupled with difficulty in navigating a complex health and social service system, further decreases the quality of life for individuals who are already disenfranchised.