Archive: 03/2015

The ACA and Criminal Justice Reentry Populations

Published in February 2015, this whitepaper examines the opportunities and challenges presented by the Affordable Care Act (the ACA) for criminal justice reentry.

An estimated 6.89 million individuals were under the supervision of adult correctional systems in 2013, 4.75 million under community supervision, 1.57 million in prison, and roughly 731,000 housed in local jails on any given day. With millions more passing through local jails every year, people flowing through the criminal justice system are less likely to have health coverage and often have significant healthcare needs. Yet while the criminal justice system accounts for only a small percentage of the U.S. population, an estimated 14% of residents with HIV, 33% of those with Hepatitis-C, and 40% of those with tuberculosis pass through correctional facilities, while 40% of men and nearly 60% of women in jail have at least one chronic health condition. According to numerous studies, healthcare disruptions when these individuals reenter the community have been found to lead to increased rates or re-incarceration, worse healthcare outcomes, and more costly care.

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