HRSA Funding Opportunity & Request for Comments: Health Center Support for People Leaving Incarceration

Posted May 6, 2024


HRSA Health Center Program logoThe Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) has announced the availability of $51 million for HRSA-funded health centers to implement innovative approaches to support transitions in care for people leaving incarceration. Announced during Second Chance Month and aligned with the White House Second Chance Initiative, this action, for the first time, explicitly supports the provision of health services to individuals up to 90 days prior to their release to help them return to the community by expanding access to primary health care, including mental health and substance use disorder treatment as well as HIV prevention and care services, furthering public health and strengthening public safety.

$51 Million Funding Opportunity for Health Centers to Support Transitions in Care Prior to Release from Incarceration

Under the new competitive funding opportunity, Transitions in Care for Justice-Involved Populations, HRSA anticipates making awards to 51 health centers of up to $1 million each for their innovative work to support transitions in care prior to release from incarceration. The funded health centers will implement approaches that focus on:

  • Reducing drug overdose risk
  • Addressing mental health and substance use disorder treatment needs
  • Managing chronic conditions
  • Preventing, screening, diagnosing, and treating hepatitis C, HIV, syphilis, and other infectious diseases

Health centers can also use funds made available through the funding opportunity to provide case management services that address key social drivers of health, such as housing and food insecurity, financial strain, access to transportation, and intimate partner violence. Facilitating the successful reentry of individuals returning to the community will enhance public health and safety.

Applications are due on June 10, 2024. Visit the Health Center Program webpage for more information about this funding opportunity.

As many as 80% of individuals returning to the community after incarceration have chronic medical, psychiatric, and/or substance use conditions. Individuals returning to the community also become disconnected from critical medications and treatment for diabetes, hypertension, or HIV. They also face disproportionate risks of bad health outcomes overall because they lack connections to services and supports to navigate the process of applying for or reinstating health insurance eligibility and other benefits in the immediate period after their release.

HRSA Invites Comments on Health Center Policy Guidance Supporting Care Transitions

HRSA is also inviting public comment on the draft Health Center Program Policy Guidance Regarding Services to Support Transitions in Care for Justice-Involved Individuals Reentering the Community (PDF, 357KB). HRSA’s updated policy makes clear that HRSA-funded health centers can provide health services to incarcerated individuals who are expected to be or are scheduled for release from a carceral setting within 90 days to help ensure continuity of care as people move home to the community. The allowable services include chronic disease, mental health, and substance use disorder treatment as well as Screening and treatment for communicable diseases, such as HIV, hepatitis C, (HCV), and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Comments are due by June 14, 2024. Review the Federal Register Notice for details.

The updated policy and new funding available can support expanded efforts in communities to connect people leaving incarceration with HIV prevention or care services when they return to their communities. Importantly, this can facilitate continuity of care for those receiving HIV treatment and reduce the risk of individuals with HIV falling out of care during this transition. In addition, the policy and funding can support linking individuals with HIV prevention services upon their return to the community when they may experience heightened HIV risk.

Read the HHS news release about these announcements.

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