This report contains recommendations on how community health providers and police can work together to promote access to health services for marginalized populations often caught up in the criminal justice system -- people who live in poverty, use drugs, or live with mental illness -- while reducing needless and expensive cycles of arrest and incarceration. It provides practical strategies for incorporating principles of harm reduction -- which aims to remedy the negative effects of drug use and other high-risk behaviors, even when people are not ready or willing to give up the behavior -- and health promotion into policing practices. The report is the latest in a series from Vera's Justice Reform for Healthy Communities Initiative, which aims to improve the health and well-being of the individuals and communities most affected by mass incarceration. At the center of these communities are the millions of medically vulnerable and socially marginalized people who cycle through the criminal justice system each year instead of receiving the care they need, often due to being arrested on minor offenses such as drug possession, loitering, or public intoxication.
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