HIV Corrections Initiative
The IDPH Correction Program collaborates with Illinois Department of Correction (IDOC) HIV Coordinator and Discharge Planners to assure smooth transition from prison to HIV care, plus 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 DOC discharge managers concerning the unique needs HIV+ ex-offenders; establish and implement 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 IDPH Correction Program oversee the analysis of all data received from case managers concerning the link to care and services provided, work with IDOC staff to track recidivism of HIV positive inmates; establish a system for identifying epidemiological data to correlate risk in communities; and coordinate with IDOC inmate needed assistance including job training, housing opportunities, educational needs.
Peer Education Program
The Illinois Department of Corrections and Illinois Department of Public Health HIV/STD prison peer education program started in 1993 and under the IDOC program services division. Through this program health communication/public information and group and individual level interventions are conducted. The Illinois Department of Corrections represents thousands of incarcerated inmates, residents, and juveniles who identify with multiple target population including MSM, MSM/IDU, HRH, IDU, and HIV+. We use an adapted version of the remarkable Reach-One Teach- One Prison Peer Health Education Training Program.
The curriculum is designed to train individuals in the incarcerated population to become peer health educators. Topics include:
- Other sexually transmitted diseases
- 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 & 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. See Resources in the right-hand column for a calendar of events throughout the year.
The Community Reentry Project (CRP
The Community Reentry Project (CRP) is a coordinated multi-stakeholder reentry project that includes government and non-government providers of public health, corrections, medical and behavioral health, and human services; as well as an array of other stakeholders invested in the health and well-being of reentry populations, their families and communities. Since 1999, CRP has developed and refined a model reentry program for people living with HIV and those at highest risk for HIV. CRP’s success is based on its ability to identify and address the health, social and criminogenic needs of clients through highly trained Corrections Case Managers (CCMs) who provide services through a coordinated and region-wide case management system. CRP provides or leverages a host of other services through the partner organizations which include outreach, health education, screening and testing; family reunification; substance abuse treatment; ID procurement; primary medical care; parole and probation mandates and training and technical assistance.
These interventions are largely provided in community based settings in Chicago, but also state wide, though some services are provided within Cook County Jail (CCJ) and others are initiated while people are still incarcerated in Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) facilities.