NCCHC Honors Berkshire County Jail With 2014 Program of the Year Award

Posted Oct 31, 2014

The Berkshire County Jail and House of Correction, Pittsfield, MA, has been named the recipient of the 2014 Program of the Year Award from the National Commission on Correctional Health Care. Given in honor of the jail’s long-term care and discharge planning program, the award recognizes programs of excellence among the thousands provided by accredited prisons, jails and juvenile facilities. The award was presented Oct. 20 during the opening ceremony of NCCHC’s National Conference on Correctional Health Care in Las Vegas, NV.

Taking a proactive approach to inmate care, the facility uses a multidisciplinary team to coordinate assessment of inmates’ needs and the planning to meet those needs. The core team members represent six areas—mental health, substance abuse, case management, education, medical and security—to develop a profile of long-term care and discharge planning needs. Ninety days before release, case managers initiate reentry plans that could include job prospecting, interviews, housing needs, transportation requirements and medical aftercare. Facility officials report that the program has proven successful: The three-year recidivism rate steadily declined from 44.1% in 2006 (three years after the program started) to 33.0% in 2012.

“Thanks to this comprehensive program, inmates of the Berkshire County Jail have an opportunity for a better, healthier life,” said Thomas L. Joseph, MPS, CAE, NCCHC’s president and CEO. “We applaud the jail for its compassionate and effective efforts to improve the well-being of this population and prepare them for successful reintegration into the community."

Find the award recipient's profile here.

EDITOR NOTE: Photos are available from the presentation ceremony.

About the National Commission on Correctional Health Care

NCCHC is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization working to improve the quality of care in our nation’s jails, prisons, and juvenile detention and confinement facilities. NCCHC establishes standards for health services in correctional facilities; operates a voluntary accreditation program for institutions that meet these standards; produces and disseminates resource publications; conducts educational trainings and conferences; and offers a certification program for correctional health professionals. NCCHC is supported by the major national organizations representing the fields of health, law and corrections. Each of these organizations has named a liaison to the NCCHC Board of Directors.

NCCHC Supporting Organizations: Academy of Correctional Health Professionals, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Physician Assistants, American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, American Association of Public Health Physicians, American Bar Association, American College of Emergency Physicians, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American College of Healthcare Executives, American College of Neuropsychiatrists, American College of Physicians, American College of Preventive Medicine, American Correctional Health Services Association, American Counseling Association, American Dental Association, American Health Information Management Association, American Jail Association, American Medical Association, American Nurses Association, American Osteopathic Association, American Pharmacists Association, American Psychiatric Association, American Psychological Association, American Public Health Association, American Society of Addiction Medicine, Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, International Association for Correctional and Forensic Psychology, National Association of Counties, National Association of County and City Health Officials, National Association of Social Workers, National Medical Association, National Partnership for Juvenile Services, National Sheriffs’ Association, Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine and Society of Correctional Physicians.

For more information:
Jaime Shimkus, Editor, NCCHC, 1145 Diversey Ave., Chicago, IL 60614