This article starts off by retelling the story of ex-inmate Ernest who found himself being sentenced to prison for killing his 2 year old daughter due to a psychotic break down. The primary concern now is what will happen to him having been released very recently, and being uninsured. The state failed to enroll him in medicaid, despite the fact that under the Affordable Care Act Indiana had expanded the health insurance program to most ex-convicts. However, Ernest represents the former inmate population that doesn’t get to have insurance based on technicalities and state level politics.
Ernest has a serious mental disorder that caused him to commit his first crime, in the first place. Upon his release he was supposed to be guaranteed, however 31 states that have enacted medicaid do not have adequate institutions in place to provide services for ex-convicts. As many as 16 states have no procedure in place at all to provide medicaid for ex-convicts trying to re-enter communities. Many of these former prisoners a ill, and have chronic diseases.
This has everything to do with class because we can so clearly see how prison traps the bodies of these people. Ernest was only in jail in the first place because he had a breakdown and killed his daughter. Had Ernest been given the proper treatment from the beginning he may never have killed his daughter. This puts people like Ernest in a position where they are in and out of jails because they can get treatment there, and because of the possibility that they might have another breakdown which causes them to commit a crime. This government inaction is what allows the prison industrial complex to survive.