We support the health and well-being of people leaving British Columbia’s 10 provincial correctional centres, helping to safely transition them back into the communities where they live.
In 2018, Correctional Health Services established five Community Transition Teams (CTTs) to provide comprehensive care coordination and peer support to clients with an opioid use disorder (OUD). The aim of CTTs is to reduce overdose deaths, enhance health outcomes, and reduce harms associated with repeat involvement with the criminal justice system. The initiative was part of the provincial response to the public health emergency declared by B.C.'s Provincial Health Officer in relation to the overdose crisis.
The CTT program has expanded, adding an additional five teams, to establish province-wide coverage to support care, coordination and transitional support for individuals leaving correctional centres across the province.
All ten teams support clients with complex health care needs, including risk of substance use relapse and/or death due to toxic overdose as they transition from a number of BCMHSUS inpatient facilities, which include Red Fish Healing Centre, Heartwood Centre for Women, and Forensic Psychiatric Hospital, in addition to the 10 provincial correctional centres.
CTTs function as a health navigator, linking clients to mental health and substance use services in the community, bridging the gap between correctional institutions and communities, and between formerly incarcerated clients and the communities in which they live.
Through a client-centred approach, CTTs provide short-term clinical intervention including primary care, psychiatric treatment, counselling, and opioid agonist therapy, support, and relapse management up to 90 days, adjusting the assistance as independence or natural supports are obtained.
The CTT program mandate is as follows:
- Support clients with substance use disorders more broadly
- Support clients with complex mental health and/or substance use needs as they return to the community from a correctional centre
- Up to 90-day program support with possibility of extension.
The CTT staffing model includes social workers, peer support workers, Indigenous patient navigators and nurse prescribers. In addition to the 10 regionally focused teams, the Provincial Community Transition Team Hub (the Hub) is located in the Lower Mainland and provides coordination and standardization across the regional teams. The Hub will also support data-driven continuous quality improvement and facilitate education and training for CTT staff.