WHEREAS, the NAACP has committed to eliminating race-based discrimination, health care disparities, inequities among Black and other people of color, and ensuring timely access to quality healthcare is available to all as demonstrated in the following resolutions: Resolutions of Health Care Reform in 1978, 2010; Patient Protection and Affordable Care in 2012, 2013, 2014; Spreading of Hep C in 2015; Promotion of Education to Prevent Spread of HIV; Good Mental Health in 2015, 2019; Prison Health Care Testing in 2003, 2006; Reducing Health Disparities in 2006, 2008; Reauthorization in Ryan White in 2006; Testing for Women in Prison in 1977, 2016; Elimination of Gender Disparities and Advancing Gender Equality in 2019; and Transportation and Medical Access Chronic Disease in 2017; and
WHEREAS, adults in the criminal justice system have higher incidences of tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B and C, and sexually transmitted diseases than the general population, and also have higher rates of chronic conditions such as asthma, diabetes, and hypertension, as well as behavioral health disorders; and
WHEREAS, black youth are incarcerated at more than five times the rate of white youth; enter custody with unmet health needs, including vision, dental and hearing issues; experience high rates of traumatic stress disorder, sexually transmitted infections, and female reproductive health concerns; and
WHEREAS, medicaid expansion, a provision of the Affordable Care Act, allows criminal justice system-involved individuals to qualify for health insurance and utilize it if not incarcerated; and
WHEREAS, coordination of care that integrates medical and non-medical services under a trauma informed care model is essential to post-release success and chronic disease management; and
WHEREAS, peer to peer support specialists build capacity in underserved communities by becoming system experts who have experienced incarceration and can build community support for quality services, accurate information, and engagement through their capacity to develop meaningful, organic connections and effectively work alongside health care professionals within the care continuum, becoming a bridge between the healthcare system and the community; and
WHEREAS, prison system health records need to be automated and health records incorporated in the release packet, ensuring better access to necessary health-related services upon release.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the NAACP supports and advocates for services to improve health literacy and healthcare system navigation for criminal justice system-involved persons and their support system as a component of care coordination access.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the NAACP affirms the National Commission on Correctional Health Care's recommendation for the development and use of uniform electronic health records (EHR) and urges that it become a requirement for accreditation; that the EHR is recommended for continuity of care between community and correctional providers; and that until the EHR is completed, all individuals scheduled for release receive a release packet that includes continuity of care documents, a care plan with supportive service documents, community resource lists, a collaborative comprehensive case plan, and personalized instructions.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the NAACP advocates for the use of trauma-informed care coordination models employing criminal justice system-informed peer support specialists.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the NAACP supports and advocates for a state strategy to obtain Medicaid coverage for every eligible incarcerated person before being released into the community; and, in states where Medicaid coverage is available for the newly released inmates but the correctional system doesn't apply for Medicaid on their behalf, the NAACP encourages its branches to advocate for legislation that mandates DOCs, jails, and juvenile justice systems to screen everyone before release for Medicaid eligibility, and, if a person is found to be eligible, institutional staff must submit an application on his or her behalf (e.g.,· Illinois Public Act 101-0351, effective 1/1/2020).
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the NAACP advocates for the use of innovative, promising, and evidence-based programs that utilize trauma-informed, patient-centered, and community-based strategies to address individual and population health concerns for the criminal justice system- involved; reduce the stigma associated with being criminal justice system-involved; eliminate health disparities; and advance public health practice and health equity.