Medicaid and Protection of At-Risk Youth

Policy Brief July 15, 2016

Prepared by members of the National Prevention Science Coalition: Taylor Scott, Michael Greene, & Robin Jenkins. The authors would also like to acknowledge contributions from Micah Haskell-Hoehl of the American Psychological Association, and members of the Rapid Response Network, as part of the Research-to-Policy Collaboration Project within the National Prevention Science Coalition.

This policy brief was created as part of the Research-to-Policy Collaboration. Below are the highlights stemming from this brief, and the full text can be found here


  • Access to behavioral and mental health services can reduce recidivism among juvenile offenders, which saves tax dollars and enhances public safety.

  • Medicaid has the potential to fund effective services that reduce recidivism, and it is likely that many juvenile offenders are eligible for Medicaid

  • Many states and communities terminate Medicaid enrollment upon youths’ confinement, which disrupts reentry and adds administrative burden for processing reenrollment.

  • Suspending rather than terminating Medicaid enrollment can improve continuity of care that aids youths’ successful reintegration into the community.

© 2020 by NPSC.

Questions/comments, contact: Jbair@c-trans.org