Photo of Matt Halverson

Matthew Halverson

  • Hosted by Legal Aid Society of San Diego, Inc.
  • Sponsored by The Morrison & Foerster Foundation
  • Service location San Diego, California
  • Law school California Western School of Law
  • Issue area Criminal Justice Reform, Health Care
  • Fellowship class year 2022
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

Matthew (Matt) Halverson advocates on behalf of individuals facing the criminal justice system in San Diego County to ensure that their health needs are addressed through direct representation, education, and systems-level advocacy.

In 2018, about 200,000 Californians were incarcerated and 400,000 were under community supervision, with an estimated 36,000 Californians released from custody annually. Moreover, over a million Californians are admitted to and released from jails per year. When incarcerated, these individuals are either suspended or terminated from their Medicaid (“Medi-Cal”) benefits and are not automatically reinstated into their healthcare benefits. Furthermore, these individuals face many health issues while incarcerated. Individuals released from prison face multiple challenges to maintain healthcare and experience prevalent issues, including the coordination of health and behavioral services in the community, transitions between programs and services (probation/parole, county behavioral health and health services agencies, and others), gaps in eligibility when transitioning between programs, and administrative barriers to entering and/or reinstating healthcare benefits (application processing, eligibility, timeline requirements, and other administrative burdens).

Fellowship Plans

To address these issues, Matt will provide direct representation for health access issues and collaborate with other organizations such as the Public Defender’s Office to set up referral processes, develop training and guidance, and create educational materials that address the specific healthcare access issues these individuals face. Matt will also educate the community by developing self-help materials and workshops.

Prior to law school, I worked in healthcare and social services witnessing the gross disparities in healthcare and social services and how that lack of access harmed members of my local community. Everyone deserves access to healthcare and mental health services.

Matt Halverson /
2022 Equal Justice Works Fellow

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