O'Neill Institute  |  June 13, 2024

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In April 2024, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) issued guidance entitled “Health Center Program Policy Guidance Regarding Services to Support Transitions in Care for Justice-Involved Individuals Reentering the Community.” The guidance would permit health centers to provide certain health services to justice-involved individuals who are within 90 days of their scheduled release from a carceral setting.

The Addiction and Public Policy Initiative at the O’Neill Institute commends HRSA’s efforts to improve access to critical health care for justice-involved individuals. However, the guidance as it currently stands does not apply to people in pretrial detention. In the Comment letter, the Initiative urges HRSA to extend the policy guidance to individuals who are detained before their case is adjudicated (“people in pretrial detention”). This population also experiences high rates of overdose and other negative health outcomes, including suicide, making the provision of health services all the more important.

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