Better collaboration between health care services and the reentry process is key to reducing health disparities for people leaving jails and prisons. Closer alignment between the sectors may also reduce recidivism and the costs of reincarceration. A number of states are requesting 1115 waivers from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to provide pre-release Medicaid services to this population. California, through its CalAIM initiative, will be the first to extend Medicaid coverage for select services in the 90 days prior to release, with the goal of creating better outcomes for the state’s reentry population.
This guide, developed by the Center for Health Care Strategies in partnership with Community Oriented Correctional Health Services and the California Health Care Foundation, can support California stakeholders looking to partner with the criminal legal system. While developed for the California context, the lessons within are applicable for health care professionals everywhere interested in learning the basics of the correctional system, the reentry process, and finding key partnership opportunities to serve and improve the health outcomes of this population.