Contact: Susan Preston
University Behavioral HealthCare to Provide
Services to Mentally Ill Inmates
The New Jersey Department of Corrections (NJDOC) and the University
of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) have agreed to
enter into a contract through which the university's University
Behavioral HealthCare unit will provide all mental health services
for the state's inmate population.
The contract, which will take effect beginning January 1, 2005,
will be signed at a press conference on Tuesday, October 26, 2
p.m., Harris Building auditorium on the grounds of the NJDOC Central
Office headquarters in Trenton.
More than 3,200 NJDOC inmates have a diagnosable mental illness
and have difficulty adjusting to a general prison population setting
without mental health treatment. Moreover, the NJDOC is the largest
provider of mental health services in the state.
"The Department of Corrections views this partnership as a means
to further strengthen our mental health program," said NJDOC Commissioner
Devon Brown. "More and more state correctional departments throughout
the nation have entered into contracts with universities and have
found that this mutually beneficial partnership ensures the offender
population receives appropriate and adequate treatment."
UMDNJ is the largest free-standing public health sciences university
in the United States. The contract with the NJDOC represents the
first time its University Behavioral HealthCare division will
venture into mental health services for the adult offender population.
In doing so, UMDNJ will utilize on-site and centralized administrative
"This is a major undertaking for us and one that is critically
important to the state" said Christopher Kosseff, president and
chief executive office of UMDNJ's University Behavioral HealthCare.
"We look forward to the challenges this new initiative provides
and are confident we will be effective partners with the Department
of Corrections in meeting the needs of this population."
The partnership will operate on a reimbursement for cost basis.
UMDNJ and NJDOC will collaborate closely in ongoing efforts to
monitor costs. A steering committee consisting of senior management
from both organizations will guide the program, monitor costs
and address emerging issues.
Participants in the press conference will include Commissioner
Brown; Dr. Richard Cevasco, NJDOC director of medical services
and assistant director of the Division of Operations; Dr. John
Petillo, UMDNJ interim president; and Christopher Kosseff, president
and chief executive officer of UMDNJ's University Behavioral HealthCare
For more information about the agreement or the press conference,
call the NJDOC Public Information Office at 609-292-9340.