This program provides services for the offender living with HIV.
Led by a member of the department's medical staff, this employee is responsible for: following the offender from the time he enters the facility until his release; conducting a mandatory interview to access the offender's status within 72 hours of admission; scheduling the offender for mandatory appointments with the staff in infectious disease clinic; scheduling discharge plans for offenders; facilitating support group offenders; maintaining a database on the status of HIV-positive inmates; and making all referrals for the HIV Drug Assistance Plan (HDAP).
HIV counseling and testing is done twice a week and follows the state Department of Public Health guidelines. Blood tests to determine T-cell counts and viral loads are performed every three months. Results are returned in two weeks.
The discharge and reintegration segment occur in three phases.
Phase One features HIV/AIDS education and counseling, weekly support group meetings, crisis intervention, life skills workshop, GED classes, drug and alcohol counseling, ESOL and computer classes.
Phase Two occurs 60 days after incarceration and includes HIV/AIDS medical needs, housing issues, economic concerns (SSI, SSDI, etc.) community support groups and continued counseling.
Phase Three occurs 30 days prior to the offender's release. Another needs assessment is completed during this month, which includes an evaluation used to determine where the offender should be placed upon release. Factored into the assessment are the offender's housing and medical needs and access to further substance-abuse treatment.
This program counseled and tested 810 offenders last year, yielding 786 negative and seven positive results. Sixteen HIV clinics were conducted in the facility and visited by 156 offenders. The program made 56 after-care referrals.