Jail Discharge Program

Research demonstrates that the need for treatment by persons exiting the jail with mental health and substance use disorders is immediate. Without proper continued care, they face significant risk of worsening medical conditions and death. Establishing stability in the community is possible for many, but only with the right medical, behavioral health, case management, and community services in place. The Jail Discharge Program attempts to fill these gaps by providing continuity from jail-based care to care in the community, with the objective of stabilizing people in community services after release.

As detainees with diagnosed behavioral health concerns leave the Cook County Jail, pre-release clinical staff evaluate their clinical and other social service needs and make referrals and/or appointments to appropriate community-based providers. When necessary, staff also assist with Medicaid enrollment. Upon release, community-based outreach workers follow up with releasees to check the status of their treatment engagement and ensure they have obtained prescriptions. As needed, outreach workers provide additional advice and guidance on the most appropriate services to access.



Priority populations include individuals:

  • with chronic health conditions

  • taking psychotropic medications

  • receiving drug and alcohol detoxification services inside the jail


TASC’s Role

Using existing successful models for transitioning people from institutional care to community-based care, TASC provides linkage services for individuals with serious mental health and substance use disorders leaving Cook County Jail, specifically from Cermak Hospital, helping them access their medications and connecting them to services in the community.

Pre-release care coordination activities include:

  • Verification of insurance enrollment and medical provider selection

  • Unifying medical and behavioral health care plans, and developing individual care plans to address all needs

  • Coaching on how to access medication

  • Client engagement, education, and motivation

Post-release care coordination activities include:

  • Client contact and support (30 days)

  • Linkage to care

  • Client and provider follow up

  • Guidance, resources, motivation and health literacy information


Primary Funder(s)

Cook County Health and Hospitals System

Cook County Justice Advisory Council

Michael Reese Health Trust



Robin Moore

Continuity of Care

Counties Served

  • Cook