Glossary

man tending horse

Research shows disrupting health care upon return to the community can increase recidivism rates for justice involved individuals

Recognizing that this site uses health and criminal justice system terminology that can be confusing, the following definitions should provide clarity for criminal justice agencies, health care professionals and community organizations as they learn more about their respective systems to better assist justice involved clients.

To use the glossary below, you can choose to view all terms, criminal justice terms or health terms.

Behavioral Health

This term refers to both mental health and substance use disorders.

Behavioral Health Organization (BHO)

Colorado has five regions that are served by a Behavioral Health Organization (BHO). Each BHO connects Health First Colorado clients with medically necessary mental health and substance use disorder services in their catchment areas.

Bond (On Bond)

When people are first arrested for an offense, they may be released from jail on bond awaiting trial or other disposition of the criminal case. People on bond are living in the community and they have not been convicted (or sentenced) for a criminal offense.

Care Coordination

Organization of the multiple areas of one’s health, social services, and needs. For example, a care coordinator can help an individual access healthcare with a primary care doctor, a mental health provider, a dentist, and help individuals identify resources for food, shelter, and transportation, if needed.

Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+)

The name of Colorado’s Children’s Health Insurance Program for people who qualify. CHP+ provides health coverage to children and pregnant women. Individuals who are covered by CHP+ may have to pay an enrollment fee and/or co-pays.

Co-insurance

A kind of cost-sharing in which the insurance company pays for a percentage of the cost of medical treatment, and the patient pays the rest. This is separate from deductibles and premiums. For example, if the health insurance or plan’s allowed amount for an office visit is $100 and you’ve met your deductible, your co-insurance payment of 20% would be $20. The health insurance or plan pays the rest of the allowed amount.

Community Corrections (Halfway House)

A community corrections program is commonly referred to as a “halfway house”.  This refers to the role these programs play in housing people that are “halfway-in” or “halfway-out” of prison. There are two phases of community corrections, a residential phase where people live in the halfway house and a non-residential phase where they are supervised in the community and are living at home and working but are still under some level of supervision. The following includes the various ways that people can be involved in community corrections:

  • Diversion client – People who are sentenced directly by the court to community corrections as the result of a felony conviction. After completing the residential phase, a person is supervised on non-residential status.
  • Transition client – Approximately 1/3 of people leaving prison will transition through a community corrections program. They are called transition clients and are still considered “inmates” of the Department of Corrections until they are placed on parole or discharged.
  • Condition of probation client – The court may also require someone to complete a community corrections program as a condition of probation. Generally these are people who have been convicted of a felony offense but in some limited circumstances, someone convicted of a misdemeanor drug offense may be placed in a community corrections program to receive residential treatment.
  • Condition of parole client – People sentenced to prison are also required to serve a period of parole after release. The Parole Board may require that a parolee complete a community corrections facility as a condition of parole. These people are on parole status, not inmate status.
  • SB 252 beds-revoked parolees – Some parolees who are revoked are eligible to be placed in a community corrections program rather than being returned to prison. They are considered to be back on “inmate” status.

Community Health Centers (CHCs)

Also known as Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), these health centers are federally designated nonprofit health clinics that provide comprehensive primary care services regardless of patients’ ability to pay. Colorado has 20 CHCs with over 150 health center sites across the state. CHCs provide physical health care as well as dental and behavioral health services.

Community Safety Net Clinics (CSNCs)

CSNCs provide primary care and other health care services to uninsured, underinsured and low-income Coloradans. CSNCs include family medicine residency clinics, community clinics, free and charitable clinics. CSNCs do not receive enhanced Health First Colorado or Medicare reimbursement or federal funding. These clinics rely primarily on grants, patient revenue and donations.

Community Mental Health Center (CMHC)

Also known as Community Behavioral Health Centers, CMHCs are the safety net providers for mental health care. Most CMHCs also provide addiction disorder services and physical health services.

Co-Pay

A fixed amount (for example, $15) you pay for a medical visit or for medication that is covered under your health plan, usually when you receive the service. This is considered part of your out-of-pocket costs, separate from premiums and deductibles.

Continuous Eligibility

When a person’s eligibility for a particular program does not need to be re-determined (meaning the program needs to check if someone is still eligible) for a specified period of time. Health First Colorado does not offer continuous eligibility for adults. Health First Colorado (Colorado’s Medicaid Program) must check to see if someone is still eligible at least once every 12 months though Health First Colorado tends to check an individual’s eligibility on a quarterly basis.

Court detainer/Hold

A person can be in jail when another law enforcement agency or court has filed a detainer/hold because of pending criminal action in another jurisdiction.

Chronic Disease

An illness or condition that is long-lasting. You might be able to control symptoms of a chronic disease, but most likely there is not cure.

Deductible

The amount you must pay for health care services before your health insurance company will start paying benefits. For example, if your deductible is $1,000, your plan won’t pay anything until you’ve met your deductible for covered health care services that are subject to the deductible. The deductible may not apply to all services.

Dependent

Dependents are typically children or spouses/partners of insured individuals. When individuals or employees buy health insurance, they usually have the choice to buy a plan that covers their spouse, partner or children. Some plans may allow other individuals in their care to be covered under the plan.

Essential Health Benefits

A set of 10 benefits that must be covered by Qualified Health Plans (insurance) sold on either the state or federal Health Insurance Marketplace. Essential Health Benefits must also be covered by Health First Colorado for any newly eligible individuals. Essential health benefits must include items and services within at least the following 10 general categories: ambulatory patient services; emergency services; hospitalization; maternity and newborn care; mental health and substance use disorder services, including behavioral health treatment; prescription drugs; rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices; laboratory services; preventive and wellness services and chronic disease management; and pediatric services, including oral and vision care.

Federal Poverty Level (FPL)

A measure of income level issued annually by the Department of Health and Human Services. Federal poverty levels are used to determine eligibility for certain programs and benefits, including Health First Colorado. View current poverty level guidelines.

Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs)

See Community Health Centers (CHCs).

Formulary

A list of the prescription drugs an insurance plan covers.

Halfway House

See community corrections definition.

Health First Colorado (Medicaid)

Health First Colorado (Colorado’s Medicaid Program) is a low-cost, public health insurance program for Coloradans who meet income guidelines. Health First Colorado is funded jointly by the federal and state government and is administered by the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing.

Health Insurance Marketplace

Health Insurance Marketplaces (aka Marketplace) were established by the Affordable Care Act. A Marketplace may be state-run, federally-run, or jointly run by both the state and the federal government. Colorado has a state-run Marketplace that is quasi-governmental, meaning that it is supported by the government, but managed privately. A Marketplace is an online resource where you can shop for a variety of health plans. If you earn less than 400% FPL, you may be eligible to receive a tax subsidy to help purchase insurance on the Marketplace. Health plans are available for both small businesses and individuals and must offer coverage for the 10 essential health benefits. Connect for Health Colorado is Colorado’s health insurance marketplace.

Immigration hold/detainer

Some people can be in jail because Immigration Control Enforcement (ICE) has placed a hold or detainer pending a deportation investigation/hearing.

Inmate

Inmate of a public institution means a person who is living in a public institution.
An individual is not considered an inmate if—
(a) He is in a public educational or vocational training institution for purposes of securing education or vocational training; or
(b) He is in a public institution for a temporary period pending other arrangements appropriate to his needs.
45 CFR §435.1010

Integrated Care

Similar to care coordination, integrated care refers to one’s physical, behavioral, and oral health care.

Jails

There are 56 county jails in Colorado. County jails are run by a county sheriff and are funded through local government. Some Colorado counties do not operate their own jail but contract with a nearby county jail. County jails are commonly used to hold a variety of justice involved individuals, including those who may be serving a sentence for a misdemeanor or are being held in custody pretrial.

Individuals can be held in jail for a number of reasons:

  • Pre-trial detainees: Refers to people that are in jail who have not been convicted of a criminal offense and have not (yet) made bond.
  • Convicted – serving jail sentence: Refers to people who have been convicted and sentenced to serve a period of time in jail. Usually this is for a misdemeanor conviction but people can also be sentenced for a felony and required to do some jail time as a condition of probation. Some jails have a work-release program or weekender program that allows people to leave jail to go to work, school, treatment, and then return to jail either at night or over the weekend.
  • Immigration hold/detainer: Some people can be in jail because Immigration Control Enforcement (ICE) has placed a hold or detainer pending a deportation investigation/hearing.
  • Other law enforcement/court detainer/hold: A person can be in jail when another law enforcement agency or court has filed a detainer/hold because of pending criminal action in another jurisdiction.
  • Pending probation revocation: If a person is on probation and is noncompliant, a probation officer can ask the court to revoke a person’s probation sentence for violation of a condition or supervision (or for committing a new crime). In this circumstance, an individual may be held in jail until the court holds a revocation hearing.
  • Pending community corrections revocation: If a person is sentenced to community corrections and is noncompliant, a probation officer can ask the court to revoke the community corrections sentence. In this circumstance, an individual may be held in jail until the court holds a revocation hearing. Being in jail is usually temporary as the court will impose a new sentence, most often a prison sentence.
  • Pending parole revocation: If a parolee is non-compliant, a parole officer can file a complaint requesting that the Parole Board revoke parole. The parolee may be taken to jail awaiting the parole revocation hearing.

Judicial Districts

The state judicial system is divided into 22 Judicial Districts. Each Judicial District manages its court system, which may include a number of District Courts, County Courts, and Specialty Courts.  Judicial Districts also manage a probation department and a Chief Probation Officer is assigned to each Judicial District. Similarly, every District has an elected District Attorney who is responsible for prosecuting criminal cases in their respective district.

Open Enrollment Period

The period of time set up to allow you to purchase private health insurance, in and outside the Marketplace, usually once a year. The open enrollment period for Connect for Health Colorado usually takes place every November – January. Health First Colorado does not have a set enrollment period and can be applied for at any time during the year.

Parity

Parity is used to describe the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008. Parity requires health plans that offer mental health or addiction disorder benefits to offer the benefit at the same level as medical/surgical benefits. Parity does not require plans to offer mental health or addiction disorder benefits within a health plan unless the health plan is sold through the Marketplace.

Parole

Parole is a period of supervision after a person is released from prison. Common conditions of parole supervision include maintaining an approved residence, employment and attending any recommended treatment programs. Parole is a division within the Colorado Department of Corrections.

Pre-trial detainee

Refers to a person in jail who has not been convicted of a criminal offense and has not (yet) made bond.

Preventive Services

Routine health care that includes screenings, checkups, and patient counseling to prevent illnesses, disease or other health problems.

Primary Care

Health services that cover a range of prevention, wellness and treatment for common illnesses. Primary care providers include doctors, nurses, nurse practitioners and physician assistants. They often maintain long-term relationships with you and advise and treat you on a range of health related issues. They may also coordinate your care with specialists.

Prisons

Prisons are operated or under contract with the state Department of Corrections or federal Bureau of Prisons. People in prison have been convicted of a felony and sentenced to serve a period of time in prison.

Probation

Probation is a sentence option for people convicted of either misdemeanor or felony offenses where the person is living in the community and under supervision of a probation officer with court oversight. Colorado probation officers are part of the judicial system and work as agents of the court.

Problem Solving Courts

Problem solving courts are special courts designed to deal with adult and juvenile defendants whose criminal behavior is directly related to a specific population or condition. For example, some of the problem solving courts in Colorado include: Recovery/Drug Court, Veterans Court, Mental Health Court and Family Court. Participants in problem solving courts must be referred by the district attorney, accepted into the specific court program, and agree to participate. Problem solving courts are managed by judicial districts.

Qualifying Life Event

Special enrollment is a time outside of the open enrollment period during which you and your family have a right to sign up for private health coverage. This can be allowed in the event of certain life events, such as marriage, having a baby or being released from prison or jail. Health First Colorado (Colorado’s Medicaid Program) does not have a designated enrollment period and you can sign up for Health First Colorado at any time.

Regional Care Collaborative Organization (RCCO)

Colorado has seven regions that are served by a Regional Care Collaborative Organization (RCCO). Each RCCO connects Health First Colorado (Colorado’s Medicaid Program) clients to Health First Colorado providers and also helps Health First Colorado clients find community and social services in their area. Each RCCO helps providers and patients communicate with each other, so that Health First Colorado clients receive coordinated care. A RCCO will also help Health First Colorado clients get the right care when they are returning home from the hospital or a nursing facility, by providing the support needed for a quick recovery. A RCCO helps with other care transitions too, like moving from children’s health services to adult health services, or moving from a hospital to nursing care.

Revocation

A justice involved individual’s status can change due to noncompliance including:

  • Pending probation revocation: If a person is on probation and is noncompliant, a probation officer can ask the court to revoke a person’s probation sentence for violation of a condition or supervision (or for committing a new crime). In this circumstance, an individual may be held in jail until the court holds a revocation hearing.
  • Pending community corrections revocation: If a person is sentenced to community corrections and is noncompliant, a probation officer can ask the court to revoke the community corrections sentence. In this circumstance, an individual may be held in jail until the court holds a revocation hearing. Being in jail is usually temporary as the court will impose a new sentence, most often a prison sentence.
  • Pending parole revocation: If a parolee is noncompliant, a parole officer can file a complaint requesting that the Parole Board revoke parole. The parolee may be taken to jail awaiting the parole revocation hearing.

Safety Net

Health care providers that deliver a significant level of health care and other related services regardless of a patient’s ability to pay. Safety net providers serve individuals who are primarily uninsured or low-income.