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Prescriptions and medications provided upon release

People leaving jail are prescribed and given access to an appropriate supply of needed medications upon release to avoid harmful–and potentially unsafe–disruptions in care.

Local Examples

Johnson County, KS Johnson County Jail

  • Johnson County Jail staff provide people with behavioral health needs with a 14-day prescription for appropriate medication upon their release.
  • Prescriptions must be requested by the person upon their release and are only valid at one pharmacy in the county.

Polk County, IA Polk County Jail

  • Through a partnership between the Iowa Office of the Attorney General and a charitable pharmacy, people released from the jail who are in need of behavioral health prescription assistance may access up to six months of free behavioral health medications.
  • To be eligible, people must reside in Iowa, have a household income at or below 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Level, and be medically uninsured or underinsured.
  • To access the prescriptions, people released from the jail are referred to a psychiatric urgent care clinic in the community for treatment, and prescriptions are sent to the charitable pharmacy where 30-day supplies of the prescribed medicines are dispensed to the patient at no cost.
  • After six months, patients may continue to utilize the charitable pharmacy for prescription assistance but must pay a nominal fee for dispensing and shipping costs.

For more information on this example, see this resource:


Policy & Practice


3 - Increase connection to treatment
4 - Reduce recidivism

Last updated: April 21, 2019