Skip to Main Content

Legal Scholarship & Advocacy

The SEICHE Center aims to shift the systems that disproportionately disenfranchise formerly incarceration populations through legal advocacy efforts on the local, state, and national levels. From changing institutional hiring practices to alternating policies related to decarceration, our Center applies strategies to changing the criminal justice, health, and other social systems that determine how populations impacted by mass incarceration are allowed to embrace healthy, flourishing lives.

Our Medical-Legal Partnership (MLP) provides civil legal support to patients seen at our Transitions Clinic programs in Connecticut. Dr. Lisa Puglisi, Transitions Clinic Director and Mr. James Bhandary-Alexander, Legal Director of the MLP, oversee this unique program to assess the civil legal needs of patients and assist them in regaining rights denied due to a criminal record. The MLP also offers law students mentorship and an opportunity to get involved with legal cases for our patient population as well as more broadly identifying and challenging health-harming policies that impact formerly incarcerated individuals.

Evaluating 1115 Reentry Waiver Outcomes

In a recent letter to state Medicaid Directors, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) encouraged states to apply for the 1115 Reentry Waiver, which would for the first time expand Medicaid coverage to individuals during incarceration. This expansion presents an opportunity to develop consistent standards of healthcare quality in correctional health services, pre-release services, post-release services, and community reentry. CMS highlighted that states must include a plan for evaluating the success of their waiver.

The Transitions Clinic Network (TCN), the SEICHE Center for Health and Justice at Yale, and the Health, Homelessness, and Criminal Justice Lab at the Hennepin Healthcare Research Institute developed a comprehensive roadmap for program evaluation and quality measurement, informed by existing evidence, to assess the quality of care delivered to justice-involved populations and the effectiveness of Reentry Waivers.

Download a copy of the Roadmap here.

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, & Medicine Committee Involvement

SEICHE leadership actively participates in the translation of science into policy recommendations through membership in the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM). Our Founding Director, Dr. Emily Wang, co-chaired a NASEM committee on “Decarcerating Correctional Facilities During COVID-19: Advancing Health, Equity, and Safety” in 2020. She served on the NASEM committee, “The Limits of Recidivism: Measuring Success After Prison." in 2022. In 2024, she is serving on the NASEM committee, “Blueprint for a National Prevention Infrastructure for Behavioral Health Disorders.”

Justice Collaboratory and Arthur Liman Center for Public Interest

The Center works with the Justice Collaboratory and The Arthur Liman Center for Public Interest Law at the Yale Law School to study how specific laws, practices, and policies impact health outcomes among marginalized groups. These partnerships work to ensure that legal advocacy efforts are robust, rigorous, and grounded in science.

Advocacy Tools

Learn how to report police brutality as a healthcare provider or a patient. We plan to post more advocacy tools for patients and healthcare providers alike.