Prison Hospice Experience Leads To Jobs
The Louisiana~Mississippi Hospice and Palliative Care Organization recently advocated for HB431 to allow prison inmate hospice volunteers to work in hospice programs after being paroled. Congratulations Jamey Boudreaux, LMHPCO Executive Director; Elizabeth Duncan Harper, Louisiana Government Affairs Director; and team on this innovative program training inmates while in prison for job opportunities after release. Thanks Jamey for sharing the following summary, and he can be reached at email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 888-546-1500 x7 with any questions.
The Louisiana Legislature overwhelmingly passed HB431 and Governor John Bel Edwards signed into law Act 229 which removed the state’s prohibition of hospice agencies from hiring former inmate hospice volunteers at Louisiana State Penitentiary, in Angola, LA. The new law authorizes the Louisiana Department of Corrections, in collaboration with the Louisiana Department of Health, to create a “Hospice Aid” certification program. Those inmate hospice volunteers who successfully complete the certificate program are eligible to access a special Department of Health Registry from which hospice agencies in the state can hire former inmates as “hospice aids” once they are paroled. The new law requires continuing education for the paroled “hospice aid” to maintain their certificate and employment by a hospice agency. Hospice agencies are under no obligation to employ former inmates with a certificate and must disclose the ex-offender’s status to all of their employees, as well as to all of the patients and patients’ family members with whom they will serve. Several Louisiana hospices have expressed interest in participating.