Successful linkage of medical care and community services for HIV-positive offenders being released from prison
- 776 Downloads
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection is more prevalent among the incarcerated than the general population. For many offenders, incarceration is the only time that they may access primary care. Project Bridge is a federally funded demonstration project that provides intensive case management for HIV-positive exoffenders being released from the Rhode Island state prison to the community. The program is based on collaboration between colocated medical and social work staff. The primary goal of the program is to increase continuity of medical care through social stabilization; it follows a harm reduction philosophy in addressing substance use. Program participants are provided with assistance in accessing a variety of medical and social services. The treatment plan may include the following: mental illness triage and referral, substance abuse assessment and treatment, appointments for HIV and other medical conditions, and referral for assistance to community programs that address basic survival needs. In the first 3 years of this program, 97 offenders were enrolled. Injection drug use was reported by 80% of those enrolled. There were 90% followed for 18 months, 7% moved out of state or died, and 3% were lost to follow-up. Reincarceration happened to 48% at least once. Of those expressing a need, 75% were linked with specialty medical care in the community, and 100% received HIV-related medical services. Of those expressing a need for substance abuse treatment, 67% were successful in keeping appointments for substance abuse treatment within the community. Project Bridge has demonstrated that it is possible to maintain HIV-positive ex-offenders in medical care through the provision of ongoing case management services following prison release. Ex-offenders will access HIV-related health care after release when given adequate support.
KeywordsAIDS Case Management HIV Incarceration Injection Drug Use Prison Prisoners
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- 2.Hammett TM, Widom R, Epstein J, et al. Office of Justice Programs, US Department of Justice.Issues and Practices, 1994 Update: HIV/AIDS and STDs in Correctional Facilities. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office; 1995;1–87. NCJ 156832.Google Scholar
- 3.Maruschnak L.HIV in Prisons and Jails, 1995. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office; 1997:1–11. Bureau of Justice Statistics Bulletin, Office of Justice Programs, US Department of Justice. Publication NCJ. 164260.Google Scholar
- 7.Gross M, Rhodes W, Conly C, Enos T, Mason T, Truitt L.Case Management for HIV Prevention Among Drug-Involved Arrestees, Progress and Challenges in Linking Incarcerated Individuals with HIV/AIDS to Community Services. Washington, DC: Health and Human Services Administration, US Dept of Human Services; June 1995.Google Scholar
- 8.Flanigan T, Bury-Maynard D, Vigilante K, et al.The Rhode Island Prison Release Program, Progress and Challenges in Linking Incarcerated Individuals with HIV/AIDS to Community. Washington, DC: Health and Human Services Administration, US Dept of Human Services; June 1995.Google Scholar
- 10.Gallegher T, Page J.The ETHICS Project: Linking Ex-Prisoners with HIV/AIDS to Community Services. Progress and Challenges in Linking Incarcerated Individuals with HIV/AIDS to Community Services. Washington, DC: Health and Human Services Administration, US Dept of Human Services; June 1995.Google Scholar
- 11.Hammett T, Rhodes W, Harmon, P. “Breaking the Silence” on Prisons and Jails as Epicenters of HIV/AIDS and Other Infectious Diseases in the United States. In: Thirteenth International AIDS Conference; July 11, 2000; Durban, South Africa. Poster Abstract TuPeD3554.Google Scholar