Ensure access to public assistance for the previously incarcerated

Prevention, Early Intervention, & Youth
Parity, Coverage, & Equitable Access
social determinants of health
Food Security
Housing Security
Legal System-Involved Individuals
Coverage & Standards
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Federal department
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house committees
House Judiciary Committee
House Agriculture Committee
senate committees
Senate Judiciary Committee
Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee


Congress should ensure that federally funded public assistance, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), to previously incarcerated individuals who face barriers during reentry. In addition, federal prisons should provide every person leaving custody with a reentry plan that includes initial appointments and contact information for mental health and substance use disorder (MH/SUD) treatment services and supportive housing.[1][2]


Previously incarcerated individuals receive inadequate assistance and resources as they re-enter their communities, which puts them at increased risk for being rearrested.[1] Many states ban incarcerated individuals from eligibility for public assistance programs that provide access to food or affordable housing.[1][3] Without access to these programs, recidivism and substance use is higher.[1] Congress should prohibit states from restricting access to previously incarcerated individuals.