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HIV Corrections Initiative

The IDPH Correction Program collaborates with the Illinois Department of Correction (IDOC) HIV coordinator and discharge planners to assure a smooth transition from prison to HIV care and ensures compliance of state and federal laws associated with HIV. The program also provides and coordinates training needs for regional correction case managers and/or IDOC discharge managers concerning the unique needs of HIV positive ex-offenders; establishes and implements interagency policies, standards and guidelines for linkage from IDOC to care; and provides on-site in-services to HIV correction case managers and project directors throughout the state on unique situations concerning recently released inmates.
The program oversees the analysis of data received from case managers concerning the link to care and services provided, works with IDOC staff to track recidivism of HIV positive inmates, establishes a system for identifying epidemiological data to correlate risk in communities, and coordinates with IDOC inmate needed assistance, including job training, housing opportunities, and educational needs.

Peer Education Program

IDOC and the IDPH HIV/STD Prison Peer Education Program started in 1993 under the IDOC program services division. Through this program, health communication/public information and group and individual level interventions are conducted. The IDOC represents thousands of incarcerated inmates, residents, and juveniles who identify with multiple target population, including men who have sex with men (MSM), MSM/injection drug users (IDU), high risk heterosexual (HRH), IDU, and HIV positive. An adapted version of the Reach-One Teach- One Prison Peer Health Education Training Program is used.
The curriculum is designed to train individuals in the incarcerated population to become peer health educators. Topics include:

  • Hepatitis
  • Other sexually transmitted diseases
  • Tuberculosis
  • Public speaking skills and cultural and self-awareness

Once inmates have satisfactorily completed the Reach-One Teach-One training conducted under the auspices of the IDPH AIDS Section and IDOC Health Services, they can be certified by the HIV prevention specialists.  Inmate peer educators deliver educational presentations during orientation and pre-release.

Summit of Hope

The Summit of Hope Program has been developed to serve the needs of the Parolees with wrap around services ‘whole person’. A variety of screenings are offered and linkage care/referral is providing many needed services for the recently released. A Summit of Hope is an event, planned and provided by the parole agents in Districts, Illinois HIV Care Connect Regions, and Community Base Programs that provides HIV testing and care/treatment and link to care, mandatory drug screening, and other health services (blood pressure and flu shots) as well as referrals for services such as dental care, housing, mental health counseling, vocational training, mock interviews for return to work, and many other social services.  This program serves the overall health and social service needs of the recently released, highlighting and specifically targeting HIV testing and referral to HIV care. These events would occur 20 to 25 times a year throughout the Illinois counties. 

The Community Reentry Project (CRP

The Ryan White Part B Community Re-Entry Support (CRS) program provides  assistance to individuals who have been recently released from incarceration from Illinois county jails and IDOC facilities. The program includes HIV prevention education, outreach services, substance abuse treatment, training and technical assistance, and parole and probation mandates. CRS interventions are provided primarily in community-based settings within Chicago and Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, and Will counties, as well as some statewide activities.

The three  major areas encompassed by the program are  outreach services, training and professional development, and Summit of Hope events.

Project Goal: This applicant shall provide coordinated HIV-related prevention, care and support services for people re-entering communities from Cook County jails, including, but not limited to, linkage to care, outreach to care, HIV prevention education, and re-entry discharge packets and/or information. Identification assistance services and re-entry discharge packets and/or information shall be provided to individuals recently released from incarceration from Illinois county jails and IDOC facilities.

Provide discharge planning and referral services to individuals and facilitate access to  community-based reentry case management to a continuity of care clinic and other community-based services.

Identification services include providing clients with identification cards, Social Security cards, and birth certificates.

Discharge packets shall include, at minimum, a variety of education materials, a resource directory and other information relevant for the re-entry population.

Training and professional development applicants shall provide professional development to those who work with the re-entry populations, including, but not limited to, professional development conferences and webinars.

Professional development conferences and/or trainings shall be designed to increase capacity of organizations to address the relationship between mass incarceration, HIV, public health, and social justice.