Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice

2014 Edition
| Editors: Gerben Bruinsma, David Weisburd

Health Care Reform and Criminal Offenders (US)

  • Alison Evans Cuellar
  • Jehanzeb Cheema
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-5690-2_685



The 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), health care reform, comes at a particularly unique time in the criminal justice system – a time when mass incarceration policies are being scaled back and more prisoners are being released to the community. The ACA attempts to tackle weaknesses in the existing health insurance system and in the treatment delivery system through a variety of mechanisms. These changes could dramatically improve the health and justice outcomes of over five million US adults in the justice system.

The relative poor health of jail and prison inmates is well documented. Inmates have high rates of many chronic medical conditions, mental health disorders, and substance abuse disorders (Wilper et al. 2009). In addition, their rates of hypertension, asthma, and arthritis are higher than the general population even after controlling for race, education, and other socioeconomic differences (Binswanger et al. 2007, 2009...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.George Mason UniversityFairfaxUSA
  2. 2.University of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignUrbanaUSA