Continuity of substance abuse and addiction care for ex-offenders upon parole or release
According to the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse's National Survey on Drug Use and Health, recently released offenders self-report using illicit drugs at a rate 400% higher than the general population. As a result, several hundred thousand men and women meeting the clinical definition for substance abuse or addiction are released from incarceration and return to society in the United States every year. Without adequate support or an addiction treatment plan in place, many of these people fall into a destructive cycle of drug abuse, addiction, and unemployment. These factors help fuel stubbornly high re-arrest rates of ex-offenders. Our evaluation of the policy outcomes suggests that a health risk assessment (HRA) and setting at-risk offenders up with a care plan under Medicaid before release would likely help address the problem.
This white paper lays out proposed changes to the timeline for Medicaid eligibility determinations and HRAs and includes alternative measures and possible policy exceptions.