Media Coverage | May 19, 2014

Medicaid Expansion as a Crime Reduction Tool

How access to mental health care helps reduce child abuse, child neglect, and other tragedies

Utah law enforcement members called on the Utah state legislature to extend health insurance for thousands of Utah residents. Their reasoning: to prevent future crime and violence and save money.

As reported by Pamela Mason of the Salt Lake Tribune, Provo Chief John King said at an event that expanding health coverage was a smart move because he knows the toll that mental illness, behavior disorders, and substance abuse can take.

Expansion of mental health treatment in any arena helps to reduce criminal activity and recidivism.

Salt Lake City Police Chief Chris Burbank

Having health insurance would allow for access to treatment—ultimately reducing criminal activity and recidivism. At the event, Chief King released a Fight Crime: Invest in Kids report called Our Officers Make That Knock on Door, referring to the delivery of a message that loved isn’t coming home because of some tragedy, or the arrival of officers investigating a child abuse or neglect report.

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