In an article published in the Journal of Correctional Health Care, researchers from the National Development and Research Institutes, Inc. (NDRI) reported on an evaluation of an intervention program within a prison system addressing Hepatitis C virus (HCV). Findings include recommendations for increasing Hepatitis C education and staff training, and expanding peer educators programming.
Hepatitis C virus is the most common chronic blood transmitted infectious disease in the United States today. The incidence is even higher among inmates in correctional facilities, with about a 9 times greater rate of infection. In addition, previous studies indicated that among those in the general population with the virus, a third or more pass through a correctional facility within a years period. For those maximizing the public health impact of preventive and treatment interventions, the correctional facility is a vital location; and for those running correctional facilities or setting policy in the criminal justice area, attention to the public health impact of Hepatitis C has become extremely important.
Researchers at NDRI examined the HCV-related educational, testing, and medical services offered within a drug treatment program at a correctional facility in California. The study describes the services offered, assesses client and staff perceptions of the advantages, benefits, and barriers to delivering services, and made recommendations for the future.
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