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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Archival Content: 1999-2005

Criminal Justice

This series discusses the issue of drug users in the criminal justice system. It explains the importance of this setting in reaching drug users with HIV prevention messages and interventions and looks at some of the challenges involved.

Each fact sheet also provides information on how to get other materials on preventing HIV and other blood-borne infections among injection drug users (IDUs).


Drug Use, HIV, and The Criminal Justice System 
About 80 percent of prison and jail inmates have serious substance abuse problems. Many also have or are at high risk of having HIV or hepatitis. Substance abuse treatment and HIV services can help inmates and others under correctional control. They also can help inmates' families, corrections staff, and the community at large. (PDF)PDF Icon

Drug Users and the Structure of the Criminal Justice System
The number of injection and other drug users in the criminal justice system has skyrocketed in recent years. The corrections setting presents opportunities for many inmates to obtain education, testing, and treatment services. (PDF)PDF Icon

Substance Abuse Treatment in the Criminal Justice System 
About 80 percent of inmates in correctional facilities have substance abuse problems. Substance abuse treatment in correctional institutions can help them. Many facilities provide treatment and education interventions, but significant gaps remain. (PDF)PDF Icon

Women, Drug Use, and the Criminal Justice System
Women inmates have consistently higher rates of drug use and HIV infection than do male inmates. The needs and circumstances of women in prison and jail require increased emphasis and tailored interventions. (PDF)PDF Icon

HIV/AIDS Counseling and Testing in the Criminal Justice System
One state found that one-third of all the people who tested positive for HIV between 1989-1999 were tested at the state prison. Counseling and testing services are an important opportunity for drug users in the criminal justice system to find out whether they are infected and learn how to reduce their risks. (PDF)PDF Icon

Providing Services to Inmates Living with HIV
One state found that creating a system that took advantage of new therapies for HIV infection dramatically reduced the prison system's AIDS death rate. Many correctional facilities provide these therapies, but carrying out a comprehensive HIV treatment regimen for individual inmates may be difficult. (PDF)PDF Icon

Helping Inmates Return to the Community
One of the great challenges for newly released inmates is avoiding a return to drug use and crime. It's in the best interest of corrections and communities to provide good transition services to help inmates return successfully to their communities. (PDF)PDF Icon

Working with the Criminal Justice System
The reasons for public health, community-based groups, and corrections to collaborate are numerous and compelling. To do so effectively, each partner needs to learn the others' priorities, procedures, and funding and policy constraints. The partners also need to make personal connections across agency cultures and bureaucracies so that mutual respect and an openness to finding common approaches can develop. (PDF)PDF Icon

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