City Announces Outposted Therapeutic Housing Units To Be Added to Bellevue and Woodhull Hospitals

NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull. Image Credit: Google Maps

Outposted Therapeutic Housing Units at NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue and NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull will improve access to care for incarcerated individuals with complex medical, mental health, and substance use needs. On November 26, 2019, the Office of the Mayor announced plans to open Therapeutic Housing Units through NYC Health + Hospitals/Correctional Health Services. The units will improve access to care for patients whose clinical conditions require access to specialty and subspecialty care.

The project is a part of the City’s efforts to reform the City’s criminal justice system and build new modern and borough-based facilities by 2026. Between NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue and NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull, approximately 250 Outposted Therapeutic Housing Unit beds will be in secured clinical units operated by Correctional Services in separate areas from the public, in order to not infringe on other patients or compromise security. The Department of Correction will provide security. Correctional Services will make decisions regarding admission to and discharge from the Outposted Therapeutic Housing Units according to each patient’s clinical needs.

The Outpost Therapeutic Units will bridge the gap between healthcare provided in jail and inpatient hospitalization. Individual treatment plans will be developed with a focus on reentry. These units substantially improve access to necessary care and will offer a therapeutic and more normalized environment for those patients with more complex medical, mental health, and substance use needs.

The Outpost initiative will decrease the number of beds in the borough-based jails by 250 and provide a more medically appropriate setting for individuals in the City’s care. Additionally, Correctional Services has recently enhanced reentry support services by creating Point of Reentry and Transition primary care practices at NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue and NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County, which improve continuity of care for patients recently released from custody in City jails.

Since its 2016 transition to NYC Health + Hospitals, Correctional Services has established more jail-based therapeutic housing units for patients with serious mental illness, substance use disorders, and/or complex medical needs. Correctional Services launched the Geriatric and Complex Care Service, the first jail-based program of its type in the country. The program provides integrated clinical care and court advocacy to the oldest and most vulnerable patients in the jail system. In addition, Correctional Services has expanded the largest jail-based opioid treatment program in the nation, overseeing the care of approximately 6,000 patients annually with an opioid use disorder.

Mayor Bill de Blasio stated, “As we move forward to a smaller, safer and fairer criminal justice system, we’re exploring all options that will improve our justice system and end the era of mass incarceration. That means pushing for creative solutions that will help improve the lives of people in custody by providing a more therapeutic environment that is so crucial to help people reenter their communities.”

William Hicks, CEO of NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue stated, “At NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue, we have had an extensive and successful history providing health care to patients in custody, and this is a significant opportunity to expand our forensic experience in order to ensure continuity of high quality care by our specialists and subspecialists.”


By: Laine Vitkevich (Laine is a CityLaw Intern and New York Law School student, Class of 2020)

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.