Ab2034 Research Paper

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Health and Mental Health Implications of AB2034 and the Shift to AB109 Loma Linda University Hector Estrada SOWK 681 Health and Mental Health Policies and Services Jackie Gomez, MSW Introduction The AB2034 initiative is one that paved the way for multiple services for homeless and paroled population suffering from mental illness. The initiative was passed in 2000 and was part of a pilot program based on AB34 (passed in 1999) to identify needs of the homeless in specific areas of California. According to the Corporation for Supportive Housing, “Funding is targeted to vulnerable groups who have been inadequately served by existing systems-including people with serious mental illness who…show more content…
Since the prisons have become overcrowded it is time to ease the space and start releasing low risk offenders and many have been sighted as those with mental health issues. The problem is that it does not address homeless and mental health issues directly as AB2034 had previously. According to Matt Cate, head of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, “told the Los Angeles Times that the prison system last year received 47,000 inmates for parole violations, sentenced to no more than 90 days. Those inmates receive expensive physical and mental screenings that county jails are not required to perform.” (Gabrielson. 2011). The problem is that once these individuals are transferred to the county jail system, they will be referred to county mental health Full Service Partnerships with little information as to the severity of the symptoms and whether they are anti-socials or major behavioral disruptions. This does not solve the issues of homelessness and mental health issues that many of these individuals face. The referrals do not guarantee the same types of benefits of AB2034. The solutions lie in looking into linking the AB109 referrals to mental health through the Full Service Partnerships and county/HUD housing…show more content…
According to the State of California Highlight “AB2034 funds allowed localities to provide comprehensive services to adults who have serious mental illness, homeless or at risk, released from jails or prisons, and untreated individuals at risk of incarceration and/or recidivism. The flexibility of funding allowed counties to provide entities such as outreach, supportive housing, substance abuse, employment, and mental and physical healthcare to enrollees.” ( State of California Highlight AB2034. 1999). The result was decreasing costs of mental health needs in the jails and prisons as well have keeping these individuals off the streets and also decreasing the number of hospital stays. Because of the fiscal impacts of cutting out this program as well as other entities, the costs were rising especially in the corrections and county hospitals so something had to give. According to Health Affairs “the United States spent about $85.4 billion on mental health care in 2001 which constituted about 6 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product. Despite the rising costs of health care, mental health spending has remained constant although the rate of use of mental health services in noninstitutionalized population has

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