The Issue 

Untreated addiction and mental illness are common drivers of crime and recidivism. Treatment can keep people healthy and make them less likely to commit a new crime. However, people who leave incarceration without health coverage are less likely to receive treatment. 

Current Initiatives 

  • Bureau of Justice Assistance grant to provide technical assistance to justice systems on health reform implementation
  • Public Welfare Foundation grant on health reform and criminal justice diversion 

Policy Recommendations 

  • No terminating health coverage: When people are incarcerated, their Medicaid or other health coverage should be suspended, not terminated.
  • More people enrolled in health coverage: Corrections systems, courts, and parole and probation should enroll justice-involved people in health coverage.
  • Coverage that starts Day 1: Every individual leaving prison or jail should have health coverage that starts the moment they are released. 

News and Highlights 

View all “CJ Health Coverage” articles in our Newsroom.

Learn More 

To learn more about this issue, visit our Resource Center.

To learn more about LAC’s impact, see our Accomplishments.

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