Center for Health Justice (CHJ) serves people impacted by incarceration, providing health education and support that act as a bridge to a productive life.
Center for Health Justice (CHJ), a community-based organization in downtown Los Angeles County (LAC), is focused exclusively on serving people impacted by incarceration and has a unique credibility with law enforcement, service providers, and the clients served. Founded in 1999, CHJ has over 15 years’ experience addressing social inequities and providing evidence-based health promotion services to adults and youth with a history of incarceration. Special access inside LAC correctional facilities is utilized to provide in-custody health education, incremental risk-reduction counseling, motivational interviews, peer navigation, individual and group mentorship, case management, crisis intervention, and linkages to medical and mental health services.
Conveniently located across the street from the LAC Jail System’s main discharge point, and being within close proximity to Central Juvenile Hall, CHJ clients released from custody visit CHJ’s Stan Price Reentry Center (SPRC) for phone and internet use, access to clothes, toiletries, basic foods, and for assisted linkage to other resources in the community. CHJ’s SPRC is maintained as a safe space for all people and is within walking distance from LAC’s transportation hub, Union Station. CHJ’s post-release reintegration services include: individual counseling, health coverage enrollment assistance, reconnection with family members, and linkage to resources in the community (e.g., high school programs, community engagement centers, substance abuse treatment, and drop-in centers). Linkage to diverse community resources contributes to a holistic health approach, promotes positive community engagement, and reduces recidivism. As an evolving and learning organization, all CHJ activities are informed by Community Advisory Boards led by the communities served, and performance and quality are evaluated regularly.
The CHJ Team has cultivated a deep and evolving understanding working with sexual, racial, and ethnic minorities, people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA), and/or mental health challenges. 76% of CHJ clients are African American or Latino; 68% are aged 13-29; 39% are LGBTQ+; approximately 70% report a history of substance abuse; and nearly 19% are PLWHA. Making over 2,000 annual service linkages, CHJ’s Team consists of 30+ individuals coordinating cost-effective services for clients. CHJ is an equal opportunity employer and its diverse Team includes former clients, volunteers, interns, and individuals from communities of color, LGBTQ+, and women. This commitment is evident in all dimensions of CHJ’s programming, including service delivery, board recruitment, and collaborations. CHJ promotes non-use of all tobacco products, alcohol, and non-prescribed drugs.
CHJ maintains strong working partnerships with the LAC Department of Public Health, LAC Sheriff’s Department, LAC Probation Department, City of Los Angeles AIDS Coordinator’s Office, USC, UCLA, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, the federal Bureau of Prisons, Office on Women’s Health, and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.