California’s Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation estimates about one-third of inmates are infected with Hepatitis-C. It’s a blood-borne virus that can lead to liver damage, sometimes years after the initial infection has taken place. The Department’s produced a video on the subject for inmates.
Department spokeswoman Terry Thornton says right now, those identified as higher risk are offered the opportunity for testing. The new law will expand that.
“ But instead of just through the process, learning oh well this person may need to know this, we’re just going to be doing it for everyone.”
Thornton says Hepatitis C becomes a public health issue when inmates are paroled. The Centers for Disease Control describes Hepatitis C as an infection most commonly spread through intravenous drug use.