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Flynn chosen for national task force on inmate recidivism

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Erie County District Attorney John Flynn has been chosen to be part of a national task force to reduce jail inmate recidivism through continuity of health care services.

The 28-member task force includes county officials, sheriffs, prosecutors, judges, public defenders and behavioral health partners from across the country. Together, they will develop a coordinated response to challenges faced by affected individuals.

"There is a growing reliance on our nation’s local jails to serve as 'one stop' treatment centers for individuals suffering from mental health, substance abuse and/or other chronic health illnesses," said Flynn. "Under current law, those who can afford bail keep their health care while those unable to pay – who are most susceptible to illness – face a gap in coverage. Research shows gaps in coverage lead to higher rates of recidivism resulting in over-incarceration."

The National Association of Counties and the National Sheriffs' Association formed the task force, which plans to convene at least twice during this spring and summer.

Mark Wozniak, WBFO's local All Things Considered host, has been at WBFO since mid-1978.