Transitions clinic: creating a community-based model of health care for recently released California prisoners

Public Health Rep. 2010 Mar-Apr;125(2):171-7. doi: 10.1177/003335491012500205.


Most California prisoners experience discontinuity of health care upon return to the community. In January 2006, physicians working with community organizations and representatives of the San Francisco Department of Public Health's safety-net health system opened the Transitions Clinic (TC) to provide transitional and primary care as well as case management for prisoners returning to San Francisco. This article provides a complete description of TC, including an illustrative case, and reports information about the recently released individuals who participated in the program. From January 2006 to October 2007, TC saw 185 patients with chronic medical conditions. TC patients are socially and economically disenfranchised; 86% belong to ethnic minority groups and 38% are homeless. Eighty-nine percent of patients did not have a primary care provider prior to their incarceration. Preliminary findings demonstrate that a community-based model of care tailored to this disenfranchised population successfully engages them in seeking health care.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Ambulatory Care Facilities / organization & administration*
  • Case Management / organization & administration
  • Community Health Services / organization & administration*
  • Comorbidity
  • Continuity of Patient Care / organization & administration
  • Deinstitutionalization / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • Ill-Housed Persons
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Organizational*
  • Primary Health Care / organization & administration*
  • Prisoners* / statistics & numerical data
  • Program Development
  • Program Evaluation
  • San Francisco / epidemiology
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Vulnerable Populations