Currently, justice-involved individuals returning to their communities experience a gap in healthcare services, as “current law prohibits Medicaid from covering most health care for incarcerated individuals.” Despite the fact that a continued model of care improves behavioral health outcomes, and reduces the chance that individuals will be incarcerated again, there is no coordinated care program for individuals at reentry.
The Rx Foundation is co-funding the Health and Reentry Project (HARP), led by the Council on Criminal Justice, to translate anticipated policy changes allowing Medicaid coverage prior to release from prison or jail into tangible, positive impact on public health and public safety. The Commonwealth Fund, The California Health Care Foundation, and the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation also support this work.
Recently, HARP leaders published a blog on The Commonwealth Fund website highlighting the key findings of HARP’s Redesigning Reentry issue brief.
In summarizing these findings, which are informed by government officials, key stakeholders, and people who have been incarcerated, HARP strongly advocates for a strengthening of service connections between the criminal justice and health systems by:
- Expanding access to care
- Implementing patient-centered and trauma-focused care approaches
- Utilizing community health workers, probation officers, and health professionals to navigate health services
- Integrating other key social and health supports
HARP’s latest briefing offers several recommendations to create a coordinated reentry program, strengthening the continuity of care for individuals returning to their communities from incarceration, in an effort to improve the health and well-being of justice-involved people. Download a copy of their issue, here.
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