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J Health Care Poor Underserved. 2009 May;20(2 Suppl):6-16.

Mental health, substance abuse, and HIV disparities in correctional settings: practice and policy implications for African Americans.

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School of Social Work, University of Georgia, Athens 30602, USA.


Mental health challenges, substance use disorders, and HIV/AIDS disproportionately affect Black people in correctional settings. Culturally responsive practice and equitable policy is predicated upon research that explores the burden, prevalence, and mortality of these public health concerns on the health and social well-being of African Americans in the correctional setting. This paper has three sections: (1) mental health; (2) substance abuse; and (3) HIV/AIDS. Each section summarizes current treatment issues unique to correctional settings, and provides recommendations for enhancing programs and policy to meet the needs of Black people who have been arrested, detained, incarcerated, paroled, or released. Further, we make recommendations for how interdisciplinary researchers and health care/treatment providers can engage in science-guided advocacy to address these issues and reduce related disparities experienced by people of African ancestry.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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