Prisons and Jails

For the first time since 1977, the nation’s state prison population is on the decline, and Illinois, Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio and Wisconsin are among the 24 states that contributed to the decrease.

Inmates in correctional facilities have higher rates of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections than the general population. State and local corrections, public health and community-based programs are helping inmates get tested and obtain treatment for HIV and other infections.  Five southern states have higher rates than the national average of inmates living with HIV infections. 

Inmates in state prisons and jails have higher rates of HIV and STIs than the general population.  Although inmates are usually infected prior to incarceration, they are often first diagnosed by correctional health services due to lack of access to health care and other factors.  

Inmates in state prisons and jails have higher rates of HIV and STIs than the general population.  Inmates are usually infected prior to incarceration, but due to lack of access to health care and other factors they are often first diagnosed by correctional health services.  To stop the spread of infections in communities when inmates are released, state and local corrections, public health and community-based programs are collaborating to help inmates get tested and access  treatment for HIV and other STIs—both before and after release.

As of 2008, about 450 state prisoners in Illinois were living with HIV.

Most of these inmates have one thing in common: They will eventually be released from prison. About 85 percent of those released will end up in the Chicago area, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Nearly half of the inmates in New York’s prisons return to the community each year. New York was also one of three states that housed nearly half the 20,000 state prisoners across the country who had HIV or confirmed AIDS. Correctional health care is not only good for the health of inmates and correctional staff—it’s also about preventing the spread of infections to their families and communities when prisoners are released.

Suggested State Legislation: This Act makes it a felony for inmates to obtain money by defrauding people. The bill permits corrections staff to freeze all or a portion of an inmate’s account while investigating whether the inmate has committed inmate fraud or while a criminal case involving inmate fraud is pending against the inmate. It requires corrections staff to return money in the inmate’s account to the rightful owner if the inmate is convicted, and specifies that such money must be deposited in a Violent Crime Victims’ Compensation Fund if the rightful owner cannot be located.

Suggested State Legislation: This Act establishes a process to release inmates with certain medical conditions. The Act directs the state parole and probation commission to set reasonable conditions on medical release that will apply for any length of time determined by the commission through the date the inmate's sentence would have expired.

Suggested State Legislation: This Act provides that if an inmate is given an early release, pardon, or parole due to a chronic or terminal illness and is admitted to a nursing or assisted living facility, the state department of corrections or state agency placing the offender must notify the facility administrator about the offender prior to the offender’s admission to the facility.

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