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Prisoner HIV program leads to continuum of medical care after release
Date:5/7/2008

veness, in addition to the length of enrollment, intensity of the program, and collaboration between staff. She points out that untrained people doing the job for the same length of time are unlikely to have the same outcomes.

Most programs follow clients for six months at the most, she notes. Also, we found that regular contact is critical in building the relationships between project staff and participants. Many participants have a long history of distrust of the legal system and of treatment providers. Through regular and in-depth contacts, they become more open in expressing their needs and more amenable to allowing staff to work with them.

Building trusting relationships with this population is an important step in establishing a client-centered approach that allows participants to be full partners in their treatment, recovery, and access to social services, Holmes adds.

The authors note that despite the success of Project Bridge, substantial barriers remain in providing ex-offenders social services upon release.

In order to break the cycle of addiction, health risks including HIV infection, criminal behavior, and re-incarceration we need to implement policies which eliminate our reliance on the criminal justice system to deal with individuals our society has chosen to cast aside: those who suffer from addiction, mental illness and/or HIV, says Zaller.

We must move towards a more compassionate and just society where we engage those who suffer from the diseases of addiction and mental illness rather than lock them up and hope they just go away, he adds.


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Contact: Jessica Collins Grimes
jgrimes2@lifespan.org
401-432-1328
Lifespan
Source:Eurekalert

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