Innovative Justice Clinics Receive National Association of Counties Award

Integrated Centers Improve Probationers’ Access to Physical and Mental Health Services, Reduce Recidivism

Terros Health

Terros Health and Maricopa County Adult Probation Department have received a national award for a first-in-the-nation program designed to improve probationers’ access to integrated health services and reduce recidivism.

The National Association of Counties recognized the innovative justice clinics, which include co-located health services and probation offices in four locations in the Valley, including a medical clinic inside of a probation office in west Phoenix.

The program targets adults on probation, a historically underserved population that has experienced inequities in health coverage and care while experiencing significant health care needs.

“The justice-involved have historically been underserved when it comes to health care,” said Michael Cimino, chief for Maricopa County Adult Probation. “We are changing that dynamic by removing barriers to health care through co-locating with Terros Health. And we are taking a more holistic approach and changing the culture, not only with our staff, but for individuals on probation. They are beginning to see that we care about their health and well-being, not just their probation status.”

There are approximately 3,200 individuals reporting to the Department’s Black Canyon Adult Probation Center. Within the initial year of service, 1,856 probationers received integrated care at the co-located facilities.

The centers are staffed by a Terros Health nurse practitioner and a registered nurse case manager who are specially trained in working with the probation population, along with two counselors, a peer community health worker and a project manager.

Before receiving services, individuals undergo a comprehensive physical and mental health examination that includes BMI, heart function, diabetes, anxiety and depression screenings. Results from the screenings, along with an evaluation of the individual’s social determinants of health, are used to inform a customized treatment plan.

Terros Health has a long history of serving the probation population, but this program makes health care more accessible to probationers, according to Peggy Chase, the organization’s president and CEO.

“We want probationers to feel welcome and know that their health and well-being are valued,” she said. “This program offers coordination of care under one roof, and the opportunity to meet probationers’ physical and mental health needs at one time, giving them a new path to succeed.”

The justice clinics are funded by a five-year grant from the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System’s Targeted Investments Program. AHCCCS established the program in 2017 to incentivize eligible providers that meet certain benchmarks for integrating and coordinating physical and behavioral health care for Medicaid beneficiaries.

“Integrating physical and behavioral health in this way was our vision for the justice clinics,” said Jami Snyder, director of AHCCCS. “Ultimately, we want the justice clinics to become a model of care that works in Arizona and that could also be adopted in other parts of the nation,” she said.

About Terros Health

Terros Health is a health care company providing whole-person care and specializing in mental health and substance-use treatment for more than 50 years. Terros Health saves lives every day. The company helps Arizonans on their health care and recovery journeys, providing extraordinary care by empowered people achieving exceptional outcomes. This work is critical, considering that about 1 million Arizonans struggle with mental illness, and opioids claim, on average, two lives a day. Driven by a compelling purpose – Inspiring Change for Life – Terros Health’s impact is undeniable: the company delivers services to more than 50,000 people each year. For more information, visit www.terroshealth.org.

About Maricopa County Adult Probation

Established in 1972, Maricopa County Adult Probation Department (MCAPD) is part of the Judicial Branch of Arizona within Maricopa County. MCAPD has 19 regional offices and 1,200 employees. MCAPD completes investigations for the court to inform sentencing, enforces court orders, and supervises probationers within the community utilizing strategies for positive behavior change. The department supervises an active probation population of 26,183 and 2,808 individuals on pretrial supervision.  Consistent with its mission to enhance the safety and well-being of our neighborhoods, MCAPD utilizes the latest research-supported strategies to increase public safety by guiding probationers toward pro-social behavior. For more information, visit https://superiorcourt.maricopa.gov/apd.

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