A new research study by the University of Delaware’s Center for Drug and Health Studies (CDHS) will explore ways to improve the delivery of health care and social services to individuals who are on probation.
In the two-year pilot project, representatives of various agencies will form “Culture of Health” teams and reach out to those on probation in New Castle County, seeking to connect them with available services.
Probationers and others in the criminal justice system often have health problems, including addiction and mental health issues, but also frequently encounter obstacles in seeking help, said Daniel O’Connell, a CDHS scientist and assistant professor of criminal justice, who is leading the project.
“The probation system sees a large group of people [who must report to their probation officer on a regular schedule] who probably aren’t accessing the health care they need,” O’Connell said. “They may be out of work, lack transportation, not signed up for Medicaid or have any number of other issues that are barriers to getting health care.”