The Affordable Care Act (ACA) presents a monumental opportunity to reduce unnecessary incarceration of people with mental illness and substance use disorders. With new coverage options and the requirement that insurance cover mental health and substance use disorder treatment, the ACA finally allows society to treat these as issues of public health, not criminal justice. ACLU-SDIC works to ensure widespread enrollment of the justice-involved population into health coverage and development of systems for referral into appropriate health services, rather than harmful and wasteful incarceration. By doing so, we can strengthen the health and safety of our communities and reduce the likelihood that people will enter the justice system again.

Download our toolkitAffordable Care Act; A Primer for Advocates: Building Healthy and Safe Communities.