DAYTON, OHIO – Today, Congressman Mike Turner (OH-10) held a press conference at the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office to discuss the Due Process Continuity of Care Act, bipartisan legislation that he introduced with Congressmen David Trone (MD-06), John Rutherford (FL-05) and Paul Tonko (NY-20). This bill would make certain that pretrial detainees receiving substance abuse treatment can continue such routines, reducing the rates of overdose and recidivism post-detainment. Congressman Turner was joined by Montgomery County Sheriff Rob Streck and Clark County Sheriff Deb Burchett.
“As we know, with opioid addiction, it is so important for people who are receiving treatment to have continuity of care so there's not a disruption in service and perhaps a relapse that can result in us losing them to our community and their families. This bill is endorsed by the National Sheriffs Association, the National Association of Counties, the American Parole and Probation Association, and the Anti-Recidivism Coalition. Many of those in law enforcement are supporting this bill because they understand that those who've been incarcerated have not yet been convicted of a crime and do not deserve to be punished while they're incarcerated,” said Congressman Mike Turner.
“I want to personally extend a huge thank you to Congressman Turner for continuing to fight for this legislation and all of the other important things that he does for our community 365 days a year. The Due Process Continuity of Care Act is vital for pretrial inmates. It's vital for our taxpayers’ pocketbooks. It's just that simple. So it's time to get this bill passed,” said Montgomery County Sheriff Rob Streck.
“Every day, we’re dealing with violence in our jails now that we would never deal with before. But that's basically because of the fact that we don't get their medicine to them as quickly as we possibly could if they were still on Medicaid. So, I can't thank Congressman Turner enough for standing up for us and what he is doing for us. It is just absolutely wonderful,” said Clark County Sheriff Deb Burchett.
This bill would amend the Medicaid Inmate Exclusion Policy (MIEP), which currently denies Medicaid coverage to all incarcerated individuals, to allow coverage for pre-trial detainees.
The MIEP’s policy of exclusion towards pre-trial detainees conflicts with their constitutional right to due process by denying Medicaid coverage to individuals presumed innocent. It also shifts the full financial burden of pretrial detainees’ health care onto local jails and taxpayers – two-thirds of people held in local jails are pretrial detainees. More than 95 percent of local jail inmates eventually return to their communities, bringing their health conditions with them.
The bill also authorizes $50 million in planning grant dollars for the Department of Health and Human Services Secretary to award to states with the goal of providing additional support to states, counties, and local jails for implementing this policy, improving the quality of care provided in jails, and enhancing the number of available providers to treat this population.
The Due Process Continuity of Care Act is endorsed by the National Sheriffs Association, National Association of Counties, American Parole and Probation Association, American Psychological Association, Anti-Recidivism Coalition, Black and Jewish Unity Coalition, CorJus, Dream.Org, International Community Corrections Association, Major County Chiefs Association, Major County Sheriffs, National Alliance on Mental Illness, National Criminal Justice Association, R St Institute, Successful Reentry.
Read more about the Due Process of Continuity of Care Act HERE.