Items in the News Archive provide an opportunity to explore issues related to incarceration and health of justice-involved individuals in the United States from a media perspective. Please note that the articles listed below are by no means exhaustive. They represent a collection of relatively recent news items staff deemed relevant to the Center and its work. For more in-depth academic resources related to this topic, please select the corresponding category under the Educational Resources tab.

Improving Outcomes For Justice-Involved Individuals With Lessons From Veterans Programs
Health Affairs Blog, October 6, 2016
“In other words, for incarcerated individuals with health care needs, there is rarely an adequate discharge plan. Developing discharge plans for reentering individuals who are Medicaid eligible can improve important health outcomes, save money, and reduce re-incarceration. An unusual combination of national programs—the Veteran’s Justice Programs and the Medicare Re-admissions Reduction Program—can inform future work to improve the health and well-being of a highly vulnerable population.”

New Programs and Provider Models Help Inmates Transition
MedPage Today, December 18, 2015
“These care teams are unique in that they operate outside of traditional settings. They can visit jails, arraignment courts, foster homes, and halfway houses, helping to divert people who should be receiving treatment instead of being incarcerated into the proper setting. They will also coordinate care services for those leaving the prison system.”

How Medicaid Enrollment of Inmates Facilitates Health Coverage After Release
Pew Charitable Trusts, December 2015
“Providing inmates with health coverage is an important element of ensuring access to quality care after release. While states and localities have never been prohibited from enrolling offenders in Medicaid, as long as they met other criteria, the Affordable Care Act created an opportunity for policymakers to make this coverage more widely available with additional federal support. In addition to contributing to care continuity as individuals transition in and out of incarceration, this also increases states’ chance of receiving federal assistance for offsite inpatient care costs covered by Medicaid. Several jurisdictions are acting to make greater use of these options.”

Tracking Reentry Nationwide: Strategies that Work
The Crime Report, November 2, 2015
“Providing inmates the opportunity to engage with community service providers prior to release from prison and ensuring they receive immediate support after release are among the most effective strategies for successful reentry, according to a report co-authored by the Research Triangle Institute and the Urban Institute.”

Ex-inmates Navigate Access to Healthcare as Many Remain in Medicaid Limbo
The Guardian, May 17, 2015
“As of December 2014, only 13 states opted for suspension while the rest terminate coverage. So inmates in at least 20 states will have to reapply for Medicaid if they end up in prison a second time and lose coverage. Why? Because until recently Medicaid’s enrollees didn’t include this many former prisoners. So states are still entangled in a web of processes that are transitioning from old to new, from pre- to post-Obamacare.”

NY expands mental health safety net for released inmates
Associated Press, March 11, 2015
“New York is expanding its efforts to make sure inmates who receive mental health treatment in prison aren’t cut off from such care when they are released. Discharge planning that included medication, enrollment in Medicaid and initial clinic appointments had only extended to the 3,500 to 4000 inmates with a serious mental illness or who were getting treatment at the time of their release. A new law that took effect last month expands that to 3,000 more inmates discharged annually who got treatment sometime in the previous three years.”

Shoveling a Path Out of Prison
The Atlantic, March 2, 2015
“If states want to dig themselves out from the difficulties of mass incarceration, they can begin by creating employment programs for newly released inmates.”

Out of Trouble, but Criminal Records Keep Men Out of Work
The New York Times, February 28, 2015
“Michael Hugh Mirsky landed a temporary job in December rolling stacks of crated milk and orange juice to the loading docks at a commercial dairy in central New Jersey. He’s not making much, and he doesn’t know how long it will last, but after 30 months of unemployment, he counts himself lucky. Mr. Mirsky is a convicted criminal, and work is hard to find. A series of unfortunate events that began in 2012 when Mr. Mirsky lost a job as a Verizon technician culminated last year in a guilty plea for resisting arrest. He is facing the foreclosure of his home; his church has told him that he cannot serve as an usher; he is thousands of dollars in arrears on child support payments for his 8-year-old daughter. Even as the economy improves, Mr. Mirsky has been unable to find a permanent position so he can start rebuilding his life. “Even your lower-paying fast-food jobs are now doing background checks,” he said. “How can I pay child support if I can’t get a job?” The share of American men with criminal records — particularly black men — grew rapidly in recent decades as the government pursued aggressive law enforcement strategies, especially against drug crimes. In the aftermath of the Great Recession, those men are having particular trouble finding work. Men with criminal records account for about 34 percent of all nonworking men ages 25 to 54, according to a recent New York Times/CBS News/Kaiser Family Foundation poll.”

WA: Bill to allow prisoners to access Medicaid, saving on health care budget
State of Reform, January 28, 2015
“Inmates in Washington state may have access to Medicaid coverage while incarcerated if Senate Bill 5593 passes this legislative session. The Bill seeks to determine prisoner Medicaid eligibility upon booking and gives correctional facilities the authority to enroll prisoners in health care coverage on their behalf while seeking inmate treatment at local hospitals. The measure could cut millions from county and state prisoner health care budgets.”

‘Get out. Stay out.’ Louisiana prisoners prepare to re-enter society
The Times-Picayune, December 10, 2014
An underlying theme of hope runs through any graduation, and Wednesday night’s ceremony at Orleans Parish Prison was no exception. The hopes in question may have been a little different though.

Denver jail inmates signing up for health insurance
The Denver Post, December 31, 2014
Inmates leaving a Denver jail already are a step behind in life because of their criminal records or pending charges. Add a health crisis and no insurance, and those trying to get their lives in order fall even further behind.

Our Voice: Helping released inmates navigate health care is a smart move
The Bellingham Herald, January 2, 2015
We were duly impressed with the Benton County jail’s recent news that it would be assisting inmates with applications for Medicaid coverage as their release dates draw near.

Some are thinking: Why should we help convicts? Won’t it just cost more taxpayer money?

That’s the wrong way to think about it.

New Hampshire pushes to get ex-inmates health insurance
Associated Press, January 18, 2015
“Before New Hampshire expanded its Medicaid program to cover more poor adults, those leaving the state prison system were handed 14 days’ worth of medication and not much else.”

A “Yelp” for Former Prisoners Aims to Reinvent Reentry
Next City, January 20, 2015
“When he was released from prison in 2013 more than a decade after being wrongfully convicted for criminal homicide, Brian Ferguson confronted a challenge faced by thousands of inmates each year who return to their communities after a period of incarceration.”

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