From Pandemic Reforms to Systematic Change: Bridging Disparities in Probation and Parole by Ensuring Food and Health Access

April 14, 2021

The pandemic has undeniably exposed the glaring racial and economic disparities that exist within the U.S. Over the past year, low-income people and people of color have faced a perfect storm: disproportionately enduring the impacts of a global pandemic while continuing to endure the disparate treatment within the justice system and high rates of supervision by probation and parole agencies. Now, more than ever, ensuring health access and food security is essential to promoting the success and wellbeing of people trying to fulfill probation and parole requirements along with their own basic needs. But these efforts shouldn’t stop when the pandemic ends.

The webinar — the second of two on COVID-19 reforms — will highlight examples of jurisdictions that have expanded community-based supports during the pandemic, specifically with respect to food security and health access. Speakers will include probation and parole professionals and government officials who will discuss lessons for long-term changes and new post-pandemic approaches in probation and parole. 


  • Stephen Cacace, Director, NYC ProbationCommunity Resource Unit (Helped build the NeON Nutrition Kitchen initiative, oversaw its expansion in response to COVID-19)
  • Jordan Stockdale, Executive Director of the Young Men's Initiative, New York City (YMI is a partner in the NeON Nutrition Kitchen)
  • Liv Jenssen, Manager, Transition Services, Multnomah County Department of Community Justice (Provides transition planning for individuals released from jail and prison, including support services like Medicaid enrollment, Aging-Disability Services, SNAP enrollment and accessing behavioral health treatment)
  • Ederlinda Ortiz, WOC COVID-19 Quality & Compliance-Corrections Health, Multnomah County, Oregon Department of Community Justice (Works to make sure people who are released from jails get the support and help they need — connecting with a contact tracer, understanding the COVID-19 health protocols, and ensuring individuals receive their medication post release)