URGENT! Pass Substance Use and Health Care Amendments before 2p! (HB38)

A good bill by Rep. Brad Daw (R-Orem) will be heard in the House Health and Human Services Standing Committee today at 2p! HB 38 Substance Use and Health Care Amendments ensures that inmates with a behavioral health issue (mental health or substance use) get put on Medicaid 30 days prior to release to ensure continued care post-release. The bill is an important way to reduce recidivism, improve outcomes and reduce behavioral health costs.

TAKE ACTION NOW: Please send a quick email to legislators on the committee NOW (before 2p!) to ask them to pass this good bill!

Write your brief email to the members of the House Health and Human Services Committee in the box on the lower right. Simply click “Start Writing” to begin. You may use the talking points below to inform your letter.

Information for your letter

What would HB 38 Substance Use and Health Care Amendments do?

HB 38 adds provisions to place inmates on Medicaid 30 days prior to release if they have a behavioral health issue (mental health or substance use) and also creates a substance use and mental health telehealth pilot program to be conducted within one or more county jails.

Suggested Talking Points

(Remember to personalize your comments for the greatest impact! Why do YOU support this proposal?)

  • HB 38 ensures inmates can plan ahead to access future and ongoing treatment and services, more effectively preparing them prior to release in order to continue care and improve outcomes for those struggling with substance use or mental health issues.
  • Without resources, former inmates are much more likely to end up back in custody. Utah’s recidivism rate is nearly 70%. HB 38 would decrease the risk of recidivism.
  • In-depth research and analysis has revealed that the expansion of Medicaid decreases recidivism for both violent and public order crimes and substantially increases access to substance use disorder treatment after release.
  • In Utah, offenders are 32% less likely to reoffend when they receive regular mental health or substance abuse treatment. Enrolling inmates in Medicaid greatly increases their access to these treatments.
  • From 2015 to 2017, a statewide recidivism risk and mental health needs screening process implemented in county jails showed that half of inmates required further assessment for a substance use disorder.
  • Other states have seen success by implementing similar practices for those in custody. Added treatment opportunities have contributed to a decrease in probation and parole revocations to prison and an increase in the number of inmates being granted parole.
  • By investing in these services and expanding other justice reforms; Utah can expect more effective treatment, lower recidivism, and enhanced public safety as well as potentially significant savings to taxpayers in the long run.

Be sure to write your brief email in the box on the right BEFORE clicking send. Thank you for taking action!

Write Your Letter Here

CHECKLIST FOR YOUR LETTER – How to make sure your letter is successful:

  1. Use a clear and specific subject heading.
  2. Start with a salutation (“Dear …”).
  3. Be CIVIL, PERSONAL and as CONCISE as possible.
  4. Mention that you are a CONSTITUENT and include your full address with zip code.
  5. Sign your name at the end.

Leave A Comment

Go to Top