Prison Population

Powerful Essays
The United States has the highest incarceration rate out of every other country in the entire world to date. Since 2002 the United States has had the highest prisoner population and currently has around 500 prisoners to every 100,000 citizens, for around a total population of 1.6 million prisoners (Tsai, Scommegna, 2016). On average many of these prisoners only have around a 10th grade education level and nearly 70% never graduated from high school (Tsai, Scommegna, 2016). With these statistics being said, it is safe to say that many of them will have a very low literacy rate. Also the prison populations in the United States is growing at an uncontrollable and unsustainable rate both financially and space inside the prisons themselves which…show more content…
“As many as 25% of the entire HIV-infected population in the United States pass through the correctional system each year, resulting in HIV prevalence among prisoners being seven times greater than that of the general population.” (Copenhaver, Chowdhury, Altice, 2009, p.277). Many of these prisoners contracted the deadly disease from drug addiction and heroin use in which the diseases results from the use of a dirty used needle from someone who had already contracted the disease. Although many prisoners and ex-prisoners also contract the disease from unprotected sex or rape in prison. Because many people who are put into prison for drug possession usually don’t serve a lot of time many of these people end up back on the streets and back into their old habits after only a short period of time in prison. This in itself is another risk to public health because they may have contracted HIV in prison because they had a seven times higher chance of contracting the disease, and they are now back out on the streets and possibly sharing needles with other addicts and drug users which could spread the disease drastically among the community. While conducting their normal risky behavior it may be unknown to them that they have actually contracted the HIV…show more content…
HHRP stands for Holistic Health Recovery Program, and is used to help people who are HIV positive or are believed to be at risk of contracting HIV. Risks from contracting HIV could be from unprotected sex or rape in prison, and from injecting heroin and other drugs from shared, and used dirty needles. By educating prisoners about the disease itself, and how it can be spread and transmitted could help prisoners and ex-prisoners to reduce their risk of contracting the disease themselves or spreading the disease to loved ones and other people located in their own communities. Studies show that many participants of HHRP programs showed great improvements in reducing their own risky behaviors such as reducing unprotected sex and reducing drug use. The “participants were significantly less likely to provide opiate-positive or cocaine-positive urine samples at the 9-month follow-up, participants were also more than three times less like to report engaging in unprotected penetrative sex” (Copenhaver, Chowdhury, Altice, 2009, p. 278). These results show that these people who are HIV positive or are at risk, can greatly reduce their own drug addiction and risky sexual behaviors if they are educated about the disease and all of the risk factors that come a long with it. By
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