The CDC NPIN Featured Partner resource offers HIV/AIDS, viral hepatitis, STD, and TB prevention-focused organizations a platform to showcase their services, programs, and materials. Our goal is to highlight the work of CDC's prevention partners and encourage partners to connect with each other to share information and strategies. Organizations are nominated by CDC or their peers, or are self-nominated. Those selected are featured on the NPIN Web site for the month.
The Centerforce mission is to support, educate, and advocate for individuals, families, and communities affected by incarceration. Throughout its history, Centerforce has worked to promote humane and effective services for visitors of incarcerated individuals and those incarcerated. Centerforce's founders began their work by establishing a visitor’s center to provide families, friends, and children of people incarcerated at San Quentin State Prison with a place to escape the rain and cold while waiting for their visit. Centerforce went on to establish a network of visitors centers at prison sites throughout the state and to successfully lobby the California State Legislature for a bill to provide ongoing funding for these centers. Today, Centerforce continues this tradition of working for systemic change through direct services, an annual conference, and consultation and training for departments of health, community-based agencies, and correctional facilities across the country and internationally.
Direct services include
- HIV-prevention case management.
- Peer-based health education inside three California prisons.
- Interventions for HIV-infected incarcerated individuals.
- HIV-prevention services for women visiting men who are incarcerated.
- Parenting and family reunification programs.
- Mentoring of children with parents who are incarcerated.
Centerforce believes strongly in the integration of its constituency throughout the agency's infrastructure. Centerforce has developed a Prisoner Advisory Board at San Quentin State Prison and at the Central California Women's Facility in Chowchilla, California, which provide input on current agency programs and help inform future practices.
With funding from the CDC Viral Hepatitis Branch, Centerforce coordinates incarcerated-peer educator programs at 3 of the 33 prisons in California—Central California Women’s Facility, Valley State Prison for Women, and San Quentin State Prison. Through this funding, Centerforce trains, supervises, and supports 21 incarcerated people living in these facilities in their efforts to provide health education and outreach regarding Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C to other people who are currently incarcerated. Utilizing a separate funding mechanism, Centerforce is able to incorporate health education on HIV and STDs into the incarcerated-peer educator programs. The goals of this program are to
- Increase knowledge about hepatitis A, B, and C prevalence, transmission, and prevention among the people currently living at the three facilities.
- Increase hepatitis A/B vaccination and hepatitis C testing rates at these three facilities.
- Increase support and knowledge among those identified as hepatitis C infected.
- Decrease hepatitis C-related transmission behaviors among those living at these three facilities.
Program activities include a 5-day Peer Health Education Training provided annually at each of the three institutions, an annual institution-wide hepatitis-related health event at each institution, development of a hepatitis C-related health education video by and for incarcerated men, monthly support groups facilitated by those who are incarcerated for hepatitis C-infected people at each institution, and hour-long presentations regarding hepatitis A, B, and C to individuals entering the institution.
The following publications were co-authored by Centerforce staff and offer useful information and program models for those working with incarcerated people on the prevention of HIV, hepatitis, and STDs.
- Grinstead O, Faigeles B, Comfort M, Seal D, Nealey-Moore J, Belcher L, et al. HIV, STD, and hepatitis risk to primary female partners of men being released from prison. Women and Health. 2005;41(2):63-80. Link to Abstract
- Grinstead O, Zack B, Faigeles B, Grossman N, Blea L. Reducing Postrelease HIV risk among male prison inmates: A peer-led intervention. Criminal Justice and Behavior. 1999;26(4):453-65. Link to Abstract
- Grinstead O, Zack B, Faigeles B. Reducing post-release risk behavior among HIV seropositive prison inmates: The health promotion program. AIDS Education and Prevention. 2001;13(2):109-19. Link to Abstract
- Myers J, Zack B, Kramer K, Gardner B, Rucobo G, Costa-Taylor S. Get connected: An HIV prevention case management program for men and women leaving California Prisons. American Journal of Public Health. 2005;95(10):1682-84. Link to Abstract
- Wolitski R, Project START Writing Group. Relative efficacy of a multisession sexual risk-reduction intervention for young men released from prisons in 4 states. American Journal of Public Health. 2006;96 (10):1854-61. Link to Full Text (PDF)
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