Healthcare overhaul often referred to as Obamacare will ultimately help reduce recidivism and lower the cost of providing medical services to those leaving prison

Inside Criminal Justice

Beginning in 2014, Americans who earn up to 133 percent of the federal poverty line and reside in 25 states that have agreed to a Medicaid expansion will qualify for access to the government insurance program. Those who earn up to four times the poverty line will qualify for federally subsidized insurance.

Healthcare overhaul often referred to as Obamacare will ultimately help reduce recidivism and lower the cost of providing medical services to those leaving prison.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has the potential to dramatically reduce costs associated with incarceration and prisoner re-entry, a U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) official said yesterday at a conference on health care and corrections at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City.

Local and federal governments spend about $80 billion annually on corrections — about $35,000 per inmate, but Amy Solomon, an advisor to the DOJ’s Office of Justice Programs, noted that those receiving continuing healthcare beyond incarceration are significantly less likely to be re-arrested.

New California Prison Plan Would Reform, Not Expand, State’s Overcrowded System

Steinberg’s plan “has the potential to reduce population and spending,” said Glenn Backes, a lobbyist for the Drug Policy Alliance, an advocacy group. “It’s a better plan than the governor’s. There’s still a lot of work to do to address the racist drug war, but this is better.”

Mental-health coverage to get a big boost under Obamacare

Under the Affordable Care Act, insurance plans offered in the new marketplaces will have to cover a core set of services called “essential health benefits.” Included on the list of 10 benefits are

mental-health and substance-use disorder services, which include behavioral health treatment, counseling and psychotherapy. Specifically, as part of what’s considered preventive services, plans will also cover alcohol-misuse screening and counseling, depression screening for adults and adolescents, domestic and interpersonal violence screening for women, and behavioral assessments for children.

●One in five adults has experienced a mental-health issue.

●Half of all mental-health disorders first show up before a person turns 14. Three-quarters of mental-health disorders begin before 24. But less than 20 percent of children and adolescents with mental-health problems receive the treatment they need.

●One in 20 Americans lived with a serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or major depression.

But when torture, starvation, disease and routine murder are added to the mix, the ordeal can be truly terrifying. 

California Governor Proposes Massive Prison Expansion To Avoid Freeing Inmates

California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) on Tuesday announced a $315 million plan to expand the state prison system’s capacity by thousands of beds, allowing the state to comply with a federal court order to sharply reduce the population of its overcrowded facilities by the end of the year.

Under the governor’s plan, the state would move some 12,000 inmates from overcrowded state prisons into private prisons and county jails. During a press conference in Sacramento on Tuesday, Brown portrayed the plan as necessary to ensure “public safety,” noting that it would allow California to meet the court requirements without releasing prisoners.

California’s state senate offered an alternate plan, which creates financial incentives to promote rehabilitation, drug, and mental health treatment programs as a way to reduce recidivism. Brown reiterated that regardless of the crime or the health and public safety risk of the prisoner, his state would not be releasing any prisoners.

 Governor Brown in Bed with Prison Guard Union

In an unconventional move, private prisons targeted for the expansion would be staffed with state employees, an arrangement that would allow the governor and his allies in the legislature to avoid a politically risky confrontation with the state’spowerful prison guard union.

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