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Out of Prison, Uncovered

Nationwide, 16 state prison systems have no formal procedure to enroll prisoners in Medicaid as they reenter the community, according to a survey by The Marshall Project. Nine states have only small programs in select facilities or for limited groups of prisoners, like those with disabilities. These 25 states collectively release some 375,000 inmates each year.

Rhode Islanders on Probation

There are now nearly 24,000 Rhode Islanders on probation. Rhode Island has a relatively low rate of incarceration, but the second highest rate of individuals on probation in the nation. About 9,000 are actively supervised and the remaining are banked — meaning they remain in the system, unmanaged. The state’s antiquated practice of keeping individuals on probation for an average of six years — three times the national average — is pushing up the prison population as it is projected to add about $28 million to the Department of Corrections budget. In fiscal 2016, 25 percent of all sentenced admissions to the Adult Corrections Institutions were probation violators.

Opinion: Where Mental Health, Justice Reform Meet

Recently, the U.S. House of Representatives passed Congressman Fred Upton’s 21st Century Cures Act, which has been rightly hailed as a game-changer for medical innovation and patient empowerment. What is less well known, but equally pioneering, is the bill’s approach to mental health reform.

Helping Ex-Inmates Stay out of the ER Brings Multiple Benefits

In a randomized control trial looking at 200 recently released prisoners in San Francisco, it was found that bringing that population to see doctors significantly reduced emergency room visits and hospitalizations. That lessens the strain on emergency departments, and the cost burden that emergency treatment puts on the health care system.