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Health Status of Soon-To-Be-Released Inmates: A Report to Congress, Volume 1

NCJ Number
Date Published
March 2002
121 pages
This first volume of a two-volume report summarizes a series of papers (provided in full in volume 2) that document the health status of inmates about to be released from prison, as well as the cost-effectiveness of treating several of these diseases while the offenders are still in prison; policy recommendations are intended to improve disease prevention, screening, and treatment programs in prisons and jails.
These papers commissioned by the National Commission on Correctional Health Care (NCCHC) indicate that tens of thousands of inmates are being released into the community each year with undiagnosed or untreated communicable diseases, chronic diseases, and mental illness. Among the communicable diseases inflicting released inmates are sexually transmitted diseases, human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS), hepatitis B and C, and tuberculosis. Another set of papers concludes that it would not only be cost-effective to treat several of these diseases while the inmates are in prison, but it would save money over the long term, given the potential for the spread of communicable diseases not only among inmates and staff in prison but in the general population after release. The policy recommendations are based on a consensus among a number of the Nation's leading experts in correctional health care and public health. They propose interventions for which there is strong scientific evidence of therapeutic effectiveness. The health care proposals are based on a realistic appraisal of what correctional systems can reasonably be expected to achieve in the delivery of health care to inmates. 4 tables, 5 figures, chapter notes, and appended survey instrument, sample draft clinical guidelines, and information on the NCCHC and its position statements

Date Published: March 1, 2002