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TB in Correctional Facilities in the United States


Approximately 4-6% of TB cases reported in the United States occur among people incarcerated at the time of diagnosis. The incarcerated population contains a high proportion of people at greater risk for TB than the overall population.

TB Control in Correctional Facilities

prison with barbed wire fenceEffective TB prevention and control measures in correctional facilities include:

  • Early identification of persons with TB disease through entry and periodic follow-up screening;
  • Successful treatment of TB disease and latent TB infection;
  • Appropriate use of airborne precautions (e.g., airborne infection isolation, environmental controls, and respiratory protection);
  • Comprehensive discharge planning; and
  • Thorough and efficient contact investigations when a TB case has been identified.

These measures should be instituted in close collaboration with local or state health department TB-control programs and other key partners. Continuing education of inmates, detainees, and correctional facility staff is necessary to maximize cooperation and participation. To ensure TB prevention and control measures are effective, periodic program evaluation should be conducted.

Data on TB in Correctional Facilities

Resources on TB and Correctional Facilities

For additional CDC resources on TB, see Patient and General Public Materials and Health Care Providers and TB Program Materials.