January #131 : Prison Break - by Lucile Scott

POZ - Health, Life and HIV
Subscribe to:
POZ magazine
Newsletters
Join POZ: Facebook MySpace Twitter Pinterest
Tumblr Google+ Flickr MySpace
POZ Personals
Sign In / Join
Username:
Password:

Back to home » Archives » POZ Magazine issues




Table of Contents
 

Labors of Love

The Kids Aren't Alright

With Honors




A Little Something on the Side

Even Combos Get the Blues

The Load Not Taken

HIV Bytes

Don't Get Fresh With Me

Discounted Labels

Thai-ing the Knot

Don't Leave Work Without It

Teen Angel

While You Weren't Sleeping

High Definition




Isn't That Special?

Prison Break

Anywhere but Here

Death and the Maidens

Diplomatic Immunity

Very Adult Education

On the Download

Face for the Cure

Tales From the Crib

Big Med on Campus




Editor's Letter-January 2007

Mailbox-January 2007

Catch of the Month-January 2007



 
Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle

Shingles

Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV



email print

January 2007


Prison Break

by Lucile Scott

Will a federal bill finally legalize jailhouse condoms?

Condoms are illegal in most American penal systems, yet 40% to 60% of inmates report engaging in sexual activity, and HIV rates among the incarcerated are up to eight times that of the general population. Last September, Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) introduced a federal bill to slip latex behind federal prison bars. (Condoms are currently permitted in jails in only a few cities, including Los Angeles, and in the state of Vermont.) Less than three weeks later, Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed a California bill—approved by the state legislature—that would have legalized condoms in state prisons. “We need to break the silence and get our heads out of the sand,” says Lee. “Sexual activity does occur in prisons, and we must allow condoms.”

One-third of African-American men pass through the penal system and, due to higher incarceration and HIV rates, are 3.5 times more likely to die from AIDS while in prison than their white counterparts. More than 90% of all inmates are eventually released, many unknowingly infected with HIV, meaning that rising HIV rates in prisons fuel the epidemic on the outside, where it is the leading cause of death in black women between the ages of 24 and 35.

Schwarzenegger’s office would not comment and instead referred POZ to the governor’s veto statement, which argues that the bill conflicts with the existing penal code, which bans sex in prisons. “We were definitely surprised,” says Sean Barry of the Community HIV/AIDS Mobilization Project, which last October helped push to get condoms in Philadelphia prisons for the first time. “It may have been an example of him tending to the interests of social conservatives before an election instead of focusing on what would benefit the state.” Lee says, “I was appalled.”

In addition to permitting condoms in prison, Lee’s bill would also improve access to HIV education, testing, counseling and treatment for the incarcerated. Lee says that while it may be hard to get her bill passed under a conservative administration, “We will fight until it gets done.” Barry adds that even if the bill doesn’t pass, it will help turn talk of HIV in prison toward evidence-based prevention strategies that actually reduce HIV rates. The perfect inside job.


[Go to top]

Facebook Twitter Google+ MySpace YouTube Tumblr Flickr Instagram
Quick Links
Current Issue

HIV Testing
Safer Sex
Find a Date
Newly Diagnosed
HIV 101
Disclosing Your Status
Starting Treatment
Help Paying for Meds
Search for the Cure
POZ Stories
POZ Opinion
POZ Exclusives
Read the Blogs
Visit the Forums
Job Listings
Events Calendar


    Drew949
    South Orange County
    California


    Poz_Qt
    Columbus
    Ohio


    usuallyhappy
    Palm Springs
    California


    blaze11212
    brooklyn
    New York
Click here to join POZ Personals!
Ask POZ Pharmacist

Talk to Us
Poll
Are you a regular coffee drinker?
Yes
No

Survey
Pop Watch

more surveys
Contact Us
We welcome your comments!
[ about Smart + Strong | about POZ | POZ advisory board | partner links | advertising policy | advertise/contact us | site map]
© 2014 Smart + Strong. All Rights Reserved. Terms of use and Your privacy.
Smart + Strong® is a registered trademark of CDM Publishing, LLC.