This article reports on a conference held in October 1999 to foster jail and public health partnerships.
At the conference, the teams formed were composed of six jail and public health professionals from 18 jurisdictions. The 18 teams assessed their communities' public health needs, identified the appropriate nexus between the jail and community public health, and designed "blueprints" for future action. The plans developed recognized that not only jail inmates can benefit from health care services, the community at large can as well. The development of effective public health strategies that include local jails is now viewed as an essential component for programs that address the current epidemics of HIV, STDs, TB, and substance abuse that impact many communities. Conference sponsors, which included the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the U.S. Justice Department's National Institute of Justice (NIJ), anticipate that the 18 jails involved in the conference will become catalysts or models for the development of additional jail and public health partnerships across the country. Toward this end, CDC and NIJ have funded a conference follow-up. A table lists each of the 18 jurisdictions involved in the conference and provides a brief statement of the goal of the jail-public health partnership in each jurisdiction.