Report: Health insurance for inmates means less crime 

Obamacare could cut down on crime locally, according to city health officials.

San Francisco’s jailers are busy enrolling County Jail inmates in health care coverage newly available to them since the Affordable Care Act went into effect Jan. 1, and the Department of Public Health believes inmates with health insurance will be less likely to re-offend upon release.

About 90 percent of the inmates at County Jail became eligible for health insurance under the country’s new health care law.

Health officials argue that former inmates with health care coverage will be more likely to access services such as addiction treatment, which can help reduce incidents of criminal behavior.

“A reduction in criminal behavior and repeated incarcerations associated with chronic health conditions is expected,” DPH Director Barbara Garcia wrote in a report.

So far, 22 inmates have been enrolled in health insurance and another 168 have begun the enrollment process, according to the department.

The County Jail is scheduled to begin enrolling newly jailed inmates in health care coverage sometime this year.

About The Author

Chris Roberts

Chris Roberts

Bio:
Chris Roberts has worked as a reporter in San Francisco since 2008, with an emphasis on city governance and politics, The City’s neighborhoods, race, poverty and the drug war.
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