In September 1998 the University of Massachusetts Medical School, in partnership with a private vendor of correctional health care, began providing mental health services and other services to the Massachusetts Department of Correction. The experience with this partnership demonstrates that the involvement of a medical school with a correctional system has advantages for both. The correctional program benefits from enhanced quality of services, assistance with the recruitment and retention of skilled professionals, and expansion of training and continuing education programs. The medical school benefits by building its revenue base while providing a needed public service and through opportunities to extend its research and training activities. Successful collaboration requires that the medical school have an appreciation of security needs, a sensitivity to fiscal issues, and a readiness to work with inmates who have severe mental disorders and disruptive behavior. Correctional administrators, for their part, must support adequate treatment resources and must collaborate in the resolution of tensions between security and health care needs.