266581 STD service availability and barriers for juvenile offenders: An organizational and staff perspective

Monday, October 29, 2012

Steven Belenko, PhD , Department of Criminal Justice, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
Traci Rieckmann, PhD , Department of Public Health and Preventative Medicine, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR
Richard Dembo, PhD , Department of Criminology, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL
Christopher Salvatore, PhD , Justice Studies, Montclair State University, Montclair, NJ
Kristina Childs, PhD , Department of Criminal Justice, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL
Adolescent offenders are at high risk for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). To reduce incidence and prevalence, routine surveillance and linkage to prevention and treatment are needed, and intervening with high-risk subgroups such as juvenile offenders. Many are initially processed through Juvenile Assessment Centers prior to being released to the community, providing a unique opportunity for STD testing, prevention, and treatment. However, there is limited knowledge about barriers to accessing STD services for juvenile offenders, and perspectives of STD service provider staff. We examine STD services availability for juvenile offenders and staff perceptions about STD risk in that population, and identify structural and organizational factors influencing access to STD services. Thirty-eight semi-structured interviews were conducted with staff of all adolescent STD and juvenile justice service providers (10 directors and 28 other staff) in a metropolitan southeast county. Responses were coded and analyzed using Atlas.ti. Ninety percent of the respondents cited STD education as a service need for juvenile offenders, but a number of other needs were cited. Individual, organizational, and community barriers included: lack of STD education, financial resources, parent resistance, and organizational characteristics. Several thematic domains emerged including Resources (e.g., need for free treatment, financial constraints), Service Availability (e.g., transportation, youth awareness), Attitudes (e.g., stigma, confidentiality concerns), and Parental Concerns. STD services are greatly needed for juvenile offenders, but programs face many barriers to effective services implementation. Our findings suggest that increasing access to prevention and treatment for high-risk youths requires overcoming a number of structural, organizational, and outreach obstacles.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Protection of the public in relation to communicable diseases including prevention or control
Provision of health care to the public

Learning Objectives:
Identify barriers to accessing STD health services for adolescent offenders. Describe the STD service needs of adolescent offenders. Discuss service provider staff perspectives on STD service needs and barriers for high-risk adolescents.

Keywords: STD Prevention, Adolescents

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the principal or co-principal investigator for multiple NIH grants focusing on HIV/STD services, drug abuse, and organizational change strategies for adolescents and adults persons under criminal justice supervision. I have also published extensively in these areas and made numerous conference presentations on STD/HIV service delivery for juvenile and adult offenders.
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.

Back to: 3293.0: PRSH Posters: STIs and HIV