2007 Regular Session
By: Representative Dickson, Ellis, Fredericks, Holloway, Myers, Perkins
AN ACT TO REQUIRE THE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, IN CONSULTATION WITH THE MISSISSIPPI STATE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, TO DEVELOP AN HIV/AIDS PREVENTION EDUCATION PROGRAM FOR OFFENDERS AND OTHERS; TO REQUIRE THE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS TO OFFER HIV/AIDS TESTING OF PERSONS UPON ADMISSION TO THE DEPARTMENT AND IMMEDIATELY BEFORE THE RELEASE OF SUCH PERSON; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. (1) The Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC), in consultation with the State Department of Health, shall develop and implement an HIV/AIDS prevention education program targeted to offenders incarcerated in Department of Corrections' facilities, significant others, and family of adult and juvenile prison inmates. Through this program, the Mississippi Department of Corrections shall:
(a) Provide, in all public waiting rooms of detention facilities and prisons, printed information on the transmission and prevention of HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C, and other sexually transmitted diseases and referral information to community-based providers of HIV/AIDS prevention, HIV/AIDS treatment, and HIV/AIDS counseling and testing services throughout Mississippi;
(b) Display in all public waiting rooms of detention facilities and prisons and HIV/AIDS informational video, produced by a national organization with expertise in HIV/AIDS prevention;
(c) Provide written information on the transmission and prevention of HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C, and other sexually transmitted diseases to all inmates upon entrance to a detention center or prison and offer voluntary HIV/AIDS testing to all inmates; and
(d) Provide written information on the transmission and prevention of HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C, and other sexually transmitted diseases to all inmates just prior to their release from custody and referral to appropriate community-based organizations that provide HIV/AIDS services and HIV/AIDS counseling and testing.
(2) Upon admission of a committed person to a MDOC facility and immediately prior to release of that person, the committed person shall be offered by MDOC a test for HIV/AIDS. Each committed person offered the HIV/AIDS test shall sign a statement that he or she was offered the test and either agreed to its administration or declined the test. If the committed person is unable to sign the statement because of illiteracy or physical impairment, the committed person shall be informed orally of the offer and shall make an oral acknowledgement of whether he or she will take the test. This acknowledgment shall be signed by an employee of the MDOC facility in which the person is committed. All statements and acknowledgments shall be part of the committed person's master record file. Prior to the release of any inmate who has documented history of intravenous drug use, and upon the receipt of that inmate's written informed consent, MDOC shall provide for the testing of such inmate for infection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and any other identified causative agent of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). The testing provided under this section shall consist of an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) test or such other test as may be approved by the Mississippi Department of Public Health. If the test result is positive, the Western Blot Assay or more reliable confirmatory test shall be administered. Each committed person shall, with his or her consent, be provided with HIV/AIDS counseling. If the test result is positive, the committed person shall receive medical care for the infection paid by the department. The department shall develop a specialized discharge plan for committed person who test positive for HIV/AIDS. The department, in consultation with the Department of Public Health and Prisoner Review Board, shall provide community reentry services for committed persons who test positive for HIV/AIDS.
(3) One (1) year after the implementation of this act, the Mississippi Department of Corrections shall report to the Legislature on the effectiveness of the program created by this act in increasing voluntary HIV/AIDS testing.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2007.