Why it Matters

young family

Ensuring justice involved people have access to healthcare coverage and care

  • Addresses unique issues for justice involved people

    Justice involved individuals have substantially higher rates of medical, psychiatric, and addiction needs as compared to the general public.

  • The majority of justice involved people in Colorado are eligible for Health First Colorado

    It is estimated that approximately 70% of justice involved people in Colorado are able to access health and behavioral healthcare services through Health First Colorado (Colorado’s Medicaid Program).

  • Health First Colorado (Colorado’s Medicaid Program) covers substance use disorder and mental health treatment

    Justice involved people may be able to access substance use disorder and mental health treatment via the healthcare system so that they do not have to rely on the criminal justice system for those resources.

  • Potential to improve the health of justice involved individuals

    The need for close coordination of care between primary, behavioral, and specialty care may likely be more pronounced for justice involved people. Health First Colorado (Colorado’s Medicaid Program) offers care coordination services to help people navigate the healthcare system in efforts to improve health outcomes.

  • Access to healthcare services can help reduce the revolving door of repeat incarcerations

    Ensuring access to health and behavioral healthcare services promotes alternatives to the overuse of the criminal justice system by connecting justice involved people with health, mental health and substance use care upon release into the community.

  • Access to Health First Colorado coverage offers opportunities for cost savings and cost flexibility in the criminal justice system

    Courts, jails and prisons have the potential to shift funding previously slated for health costs to other uses.