A successful partnership between a correctional system and its healthcare provider – one predicated on shared values – is integral in providing incarcerated individuals with the care they need. Centurion strives to partner with correctional systems whose values align with our view that correctional healthcare is core to public health, and that it plays a vital role in the health and safety of our communities.
To that end, we have outlined the following Partnership Values, a set of guidelines our team uses to evaluate and consider correctional healthcare partnerships. These Values outline important conditions that contribute to our ability to deliver quality healthcare and rehabilitative services in correctional settings.
Fostering an Engaged Culture with Strong Leadership
Modern correctional systems and their leadership promote equity, ethics, and respect for human rights, fairness and dignity. These commitments must be met with adequate investments to support the facilities’ medical program as well as all other components of a modern correctional system, including skilled personnel and quality facilities. We will evaluate an agency’s policy positions, historical and current budgets, future budget projections, and whether the agency’s mission has the support of state and local government officials.
Protecting the Safety and the Rights of Incarcerated Individuals
Correctional agencies must be responsive to safety and human rights issues raised by incarcerated individuals as well as outside stakeholders – including family and friends of those experiencing incarceration, elected officials, and advocacy groups – and address known issues proactively, without requiring a court or the threat of legal action to enact positive change. We will evaluate safety policies, incident reports, and any current or historical litigation to determine whether the safety and the rights of incarcerated individuals are being upheld. This ensures our healthcare staff members will have a safe and supportive environment in which to provide care.
Investing in Environment and Infrastructure
In correctional settings, environmental and infrastructure issues impact the health of incarcerated individuals much the same as what are commonly referred to as “social determinants of health” in the community. Correctional partners should maintain healthcare infrastructure and service areas that provide an effective environment for the delivery of services and are able to support the use of modern healthcare technology and equipment. Centurion will consider whether facilities are overcrowded or operate beyond their designed capacity and whether they meet appropriate standards of safety and cleanliness. We will evaluate quality, capacity, sanitation and privacy of an agency’s medical and mental health service areas and equipment. We will also evaluate whether adequate housing exists for incarcerated individuals with special medical or mental health needs.
Ensuring Sufficient Staffing and Support for Healthcare Personnel
Correctional healthcare professionals depend on correctional officers as partners in providing care, ensuring safe escort, and maintaining safety in medical service areas. An effective healthcare program requires an adequate number of qualified security officers. We will evaluate whether an agency has adequate personnel levels, as well as the compensation, benefits, employment criteria, and training requirements to address high vacancies, turnover, and inappropriate officer conduct.
Actively Supporting Community Engagement and Reentry Support Programs
Correctional agencies do not operate in a vacuum, but rather play a vital role in the broader public health of the community. Centurion has found programs that support incarcerated individuals through rehabilitation and personal growth have a positive impact on health outcomes. We will evaluate the educational resources, job training, and other reentry programming provided to incarcerated individuals, as well as an agency’s record of collaboration with vendors and the broader community.