Establishes the department of corrections and community supervision shall provide an inmate, upon his or her discharge, with educational information about the prevention of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), instructions about how to obtain free HIV testing and referrals to community-based HIV prevention, education and counseling resources.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the correction law, in relation to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) prevention
PURPOSE: To require information regarding HIV testing, counseling and education to be provided to persons upon release from a state correctional facility.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Sections 1 of the bill amends the correction law by adding a new section to require that inmates being released from state correctional facilities be provided with information about the prevention of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and instructions about how to obtain free HIV testing upon release, including contact information for HIV counseling and testing service providers.
JUSTIFICATION: Prisons are breeding grounds for infectious diseases, namely HIV and AIDS. Such is evident in the AIDS rate in state and federal prisons, which is seven times higher than in the general U.S. population. Between 1995 and 1999, the HIV infection rate in Federal and State prisons rose from 1,500 to 25,757 according to the U.S. Department of Justice. As of 2001, New York State has the largest known infection rate of 7,000 inmates.
The debilitating affect of AIDS on racial and ethnic minority communities has worsened, as the demography of the epidemic has changed considerably over the last decade. African Americans and Hispanics, in particular, are now disproportionately affected. Racial minority groups today represent almost three quarters of new AIDS cases. Although Hispanics made up only about 14% of the population of the United States, they accounted for 19% of the estimated cases diagnosed since the beginning of the epidemic, and alarmingly, in 2004 Hispanics accounted for 20% of new diagnoses. African Americans accounted for 43% of all AIDS cases reported during that same year, even though African Americans make up just 12% of the population. Among African American women, the figures are even more alarming - 67% of American women diagnosed with AIDS in 2004 were black.
According to a recent study by researchers at U.C. Berkeley, the high rate of African American men in incarceration may also have played a role in the rapid spread of HIV throughout the African American community. Researchers discovered that the increase in AIDS among black Americans closely corresponds to the rise in incarceration rates of black men over the past two decades. This is due, in part, to the fact that prison systems are havens for high risk behaviors that make the spread of HIV prevalent, including intravenous (IV) drug use, tattooing, unprotected sex between men and male rape and the use of contaminated cutting instruments. It is also a result of the HIV positive men and women entering the system and those who are infected during their incarceration, who do not know their status and lack adequate information and resources to protect themselves. Under these circumstances, HIV is being transmitted unwittingly, and resultantly, a number of positive HIV cases in prisons are increasing.
As hundreds of thousands of young men are released from prison each year, many will return to those communities that are hardest hit by HIV. Without proper education and counseling of regarding HIV status, the impact on minority communities will undoubtedly worsen. Requiring notification about the prevention of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and instructions about how to obtain free HIV testing upon release, including contact information for HIV counseling and testing service providers, upon release from incarceration will further the goals of HIV control, prevention, and education and help to alleviate barriers to health care that typically exist upon release.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2009-2010: S.5973 2011-2012: S.6488 - Died in Committee
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: Minimal.
EFFECTIVE DATE: To take effect on the sixtieth day after it shall have become law.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 1407 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 9, 2013 ___________Introduced by Sens. MONTGOMERY, ESPAILLAT, KRUEGER, PARKER, PERKINS -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Crime Victims, Crime and Correction AN ACT to amend the correction law, in relation to human immunodeficien- cy virus (HIV) prevention THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The correction law is amended by adding a new section 76 to read as follows: S 76. HUMAN IMMUNODEFICIENCY VIRUS (HIV) PREVENTION. UPON DISCHARGE OF AN INMATE FROM A CORRECTIONAL FACILITY, THE DEPARTMENT SHALL PROVIDE SUCH INMATE WITH EDUCATIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE PREVENTION OF HUMAN IMMUNODEFICIENCY VIRUS (HIV) INFECTION, INSTRUCTIONS ABOUT HOW TO OBTAIN FREE HIV TESTING UPON RELEASE, INCLUDING CONTACT INFORMATION FOR HIV COUNSELING AND TESTING SERVICE PROVIDERS LOCATED IN THE COUNTY OR CITY IN WHICH SUCH INMATE INTENDS TO RESIDE UPON RELEASE, AND REFERRALS TO COMMUNITY-BASED HIV PREVENTION, EDUCATION AND COUNSELING RESOURCES LOCATED IN THE COUNTY OR CITY IN WHICH SUCH INMATE INTENDS TO RESIDE UPON RELEASE. S 2. This act shall take effect on the sixtieth day after it shall have become a law.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD04047-01-3