The worlds of healthcare and criminal justice are inextricably linked, and so are some of the biggest issues professionals in each industry deal with every day.

Discover the top challenges facing the criminal justice system today—and how healthcare technologies may be the solution.

CHALLENGE #1: Mental Illness

Over the last few years, the need for easily accessible mental health support has become abundantly clear, but individuals still struggle to receive the help they need. Instead, they often end up getting in trouble with the law.

The Tech Solution: Handling widespread mental health issues is a massive undertaking, but healthcare technology is facilitating the process. Thanks to the number of digital solutions available today, such as online therapy and telehealth platforms, more people are able to access critical health services and treatments.

CHALLENGE #2: Drug Use

Around 65% of the United States prison population has an active substance use disorder. While many discussions around how to best tackle the issue still need to be had, such as whether certain drugs should be decriminalized, technology is already working to help individuals with drug addiction disorders find effective treatment.

The Tech Solution: From screening and diagnosis to consults and online counseling, providing treatment via telehealth reduces wait times, enables immediate support, and increases access to specialized providers that may not be available locally. Prior to or upon release from jail, justice-involved individuals with substance use disorders can more easily receive the support they need.

CHALLENGE #3: High Incarceration Rates

Often a result of the previous two challenges, the criminal justice system continues to see extraordinarily high rates of incarcerations—around 2 million people nationwide. In many cases, incarceration isn’t the most effective solution and ends up contributing to recidivism, negatively impacting the surrounding community, and straining the nation’s economy.

The Tech Solution: Telehealth solutions, such as virtual appointments, have already begun to show promise in their ability to lower recidivism and incarceration rates. Many community supervision programs, like the Georgia Department of Community Supervision, have launched telehealth pilot programs, with clearly positive results. For individuals who are already incarcerated, telehealth has the potential to remove barriers that often prevent them from accessing evidence-based, multidisciplinary care.

Improve Health and Justice Outcomes With iTether

The criminal justice system is complex and confusing for justice-involved individuals everywhere. We’re here to make it easier with a telehealth platform that provides criminal justice agencies’ employees and program participants with the resources and communication pathways they need to succeed. Reach out today to learn more.