Overview and Inventory of HHS Efforts to Assist Incarcerated and Reentering Individuals and their Families . Prevention and Support Services for Women Incarcerated or Newly Released Living with or at Risk for HIV/AIDS/STDs Program


Type of Activity: Demonstration

Funding Mechanism: Competitive Cooperative Agreements

Total Available Funding: $625,000 [OWH Appropriated funds ended Aug. 2010]

Number of Awards: 5

Average Award Amount per Year: $125,000

Length of Project Period: 3 years; 2007 - 2010 (funded similar grant cycles with this same focus since 2002)

Federal Partners:

  • Office of HIV/AIDS Policy
  • Regional Offices
  • Criminal Justice System in the locations [Houston, TX, Baltimore, Los Angeles, New Jersey, and New York]

Summary: The primary purpose of this OWH HIV/AIDS program is to increase health related support services available for HIV infected incarcerated and newly released women. The goals for the Incarcerated/Newly Released Program are to:

  • Develop and sustain comprehensive HIV/AIDS/STD prevention and support services to incarcerated and newly released women living with HIV/AIDS in collaboration with health entities, care providers, social services, correctional facilities, and criminal justice offices;
  • Establish community linkages and networks for ensuring quality continuum of care, transitional support, discharge planning and preparation, and HIV/STD prevention services for incarcerated and newly released women living with or at high risk for HIV/AIDS; and
  • Improve the physical and mental health circumstances as well as the quality of life of incarcerated and newly released women living with HIV/AIDS or at high risk for HIV infection.

The OWH hopes to fulfill this purpose by providing funding to targeted community-based organizations to enhance their prevention and support activities to incarcerated and newly released women living with or at high risk for HIV infection.

The proposed program must address HIV prevention and support services for incarcerated and newly released women through a gender-specific approach. Information and services provided must be culturally and linguistically appropriate for the individuals for whom the information and services are intended. Women's health issues are defined in the context of women's lives, including their multiple social roles and the importance of relationships with other people to their lives. This definition of women's health encompasses mental, dental, and physical health and spans the life course.

The objectives of the OWH program are to:

  • Increase the number of incarcerated women receiving pre-release discharge planning, particularly those who are living with HIV/AIDS or at high risk for HIV infection.
  • Increase the number of HIV infected incarcerated women who are connected to drug assistance programs, medical care, and case management services prior to release or at time of release.
  • Increase the number of community linkages and networks for ensuring continuum of care for incarcerated and newly released


  • HIV/AIDS epidemiology data
  • HIV/AIDS rates for incarcerated women
  • Disproportionate representation of males from high incidence communities
  • SES data for women disproportionately represented in women living with HIV/AIDS, women in severely distressed communities, etc.
  • Health disparities data
  • 2010 objectives

Current Grantees:

AIDS Foundation Houston, Inc., Houston, Harris Co., TX; Women Accepting Responsibility, Baltimore, Maryland; Hyacinth AIDS Foundation, New Brunswick, New Jersey; Greenhope Services for Women, Inc., New York, NY; Center for Health Justice, Inc., West Hollywood, CA

Evaluation Activities: Multi site evaluation conducted from 2006 to 2009 by GEARS, Inc. an 8-a firm based in Atlanta, GA. Report is available.

Future Prospects:  N/A


Mary L. Bowers
Public Health Advisor
Office on Women's Health
Phone: (202) 260-0020
Fax: (202) 401-4005
Email: mary.bowers@hhs.gov

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