241156 A needs assessment of prevention services available for incarcerated youth in Los Angeles County

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Monica Molina, MPH , Center for Health Justice, Los Angeles, CA
Priya Rideau, MPHc , Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, Los Angeles, CA
Francisca Obiora, MPHc , Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, Los Angeles, CA
Bita Amani, PhD , Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, Los Angeles, CA
Cajetan Luna, MA , Center for Health Justice, Los Angeles, CA
Issues: Los Angeles County (LAC) is home to the largest juvenile justice system in the United States. According to the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, the 2009 end of the year population overview for the juvenile justice system was 3,307 youth. To date, incarcerated youth have a low prevalence of HIV. Yet, studies of incarcerated adults suggest substantial risk of acquiring HIV among this juvenile population. Compared to their non-incarcerated peers, incarcerated juveniles report higher accounts of sexual activity; younger ages at coitarche, and more sexual partners. Effective interventions may prevent HIV acquisition.

Description: Founded in 2000, the Center for Health Justice (CHJ) is a non-profit organization focused on HIV and incarceration in California. We provide direct services in L.A.'s jails and California prisons. A current intervention in adult locked facilities is the Peer Education Program (PEP) which instructs prisoners to provide HIV information and support to other prisoners.

Lessons Learned: CHJ's programs are successful due to the unstructured time available in locked settings and because they are peer driven. In partnership with Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, CHJ is conducting a needs assessment to identify the services available to incarcerated juveniles. Given CHJ's success among incarcerated adults, the hope is to identify gaps in resources for incarcerated youth.

Recommendations: CHJ will present findings on the current state of interventions for incarcerated youth in LAC. A discussion on the feasibility of mandatory HIV testing, risk reduction education and the distribution of condoms to incarcerated youth will occur.

Learning Areas:
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
List 3 potential strategies to reduce risk of HIV infection in youth detention facilities. Identify the scope of interventions available to incarcerated youth in LAC.

Keywords: Adolescent Health, Incarceration

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I am the Director of Education Programs and I oversee all the health education programs that we conduct inside jails and prisons.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.