PITTSBURGH--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Wexford Health Sources has completed one of the correctional industry’s rare “hat tricks,” receiving a third national honor for its innovative program that returns criminal defendants to legal competency. The National Sheriffs’ Association, one of the foremost law enforcement organizations in the country, recently presented its Corrections/Jail Innovation of the Year Award to Wexford Health’s highly successful program, which advances the interests of justice while producing tremendous taxpayer savings.
The Restoration to Competency or “RTC” program, developed in partnership with the Yavapai County (Arizona) Sheriff’s Office, has restored some 79 percent of participants. Launched in 2010, the program produced savings of more than $6.75 million in just its first three years of operation — money that helped local governments provide countless other programs and services to their citizens. Yavapai Chief Deputy John Russell, who was instrumental in the program’s deployment, accepted the award on behalf of the county and Wexford Health.
The National Sheriffs’ award, presented last month at the association’s annual conference in Fort Worth, Texas, marks the third time the RTC initiative has been recognized by a national organization. Earlier this year, the program’s outstanding record of documented savings earned it the 2014 Innovation in Corrections Award from the American Correctional Association. The National Association of Counties also selected it as one of only three national Courthouse Award winners in 2011. In addition, the program has been profiled by several national publications for prison and jail management professionals, including Corrections Forum and Sheriff magazines.
“The Restoration to Competency program has been a tremendous success for everyone involved, and we are honored that it’s been recognized by so many prestigious national organizations,” said Daniel Conn, President and Chief Executive Officer of Wexford Health Sources. “It’s a great program that transforms correctional mental health care by improving lives, advancing the justice system, and saving taxpayer dollars.”
The RTC program provides necessary mental health services to detainees who have been declared incompetent to stand trial, so that criminal justice proceedings can move forward. In Yavapai County, Wexford Health delivers these services behind the secure walls of the jail, eliminating the time, inconvenience — and higher cost — of securely transporting inmates 100 miles to the nearest state mental hospital. Over time, the program has expanded to include ten additional Arizona counties and a Native American nation. Increasing the volume of RTC services makes the program more cost-effective and saves participating agencies even more tax dollars.
This creative approach can be implemented in a variety of correctional and other criminal justice settings, enabling clients to realize cost savings, expedite the judicial process, and restore defendants’ mental health all at the same time.
Wexford Health Sources, one of the nation’s largest correctional health care companies, provides medical, mental health, pharmacy, rehabilitation, utilization management, claims processing, and technology services to state, regional, and local clients across the country. The company helps governments, correctional facilities, and other institutions control inmate health care costs while maintaining quality of care.