JUVENILE JUSTICE REFORM:
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.
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.