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Controlling Tuberculosis in Community Corrections

NCJ Number
Date Published
11 pages
Publication Series
This paper includes an overview of tuberculosis as a criminal justice and public health issue and a discussion of the particular problem of TB in community corrections.
The increasing incidence of tuberculosis infection and active disease in the United States raises significant issues because much of the increase has occurred in populations involved with the criminal justice system. Persons with TB, moreover, are often also infected with HIV. In addition, new strains of drug-resistant TB have appeared in part because of patients' failure to follow prescribed courses of medication. Unless inmates with TB infection and disease are identified and appropriately treated, the disease can later develop among released inmates, who then may transmit the infection to their families, community corrections officials, and the general public. Challenges and opportunities for the criminal justice community include: (1) screening inmates, parolees, probationers, and criminal justice staff for TB infection and active disease; and (2) controlling spread of the disease by educating and training staff members to understand how the infection is transmitted and what can be done to contain its spread, establishing protective procedures for staff, ensuring prophylactic therapy for infected inmates and an appropriate medical regimen for those with active disease, and linking with public health agencies to ensure follow up with persons released from the criminal justice system. There is a description of how health departments and community corrections agencies can work together. Glossary, exhibit, notes

Date Published: January 1, 1995