CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Rhode Island Frowns On Providing Inmates With Condoms

From As the rate of black Americans contracting HIV rises along with the rate of black males incarcerated in the nation’s prisons, an AIDS advocacy group is recommending curbing the virus through voluntary tests of prisoners for HIV and by distributing condoms in jails.

The recommendations of the National Minority AIDS Council are intended to help inmates who test positive for the virus and protect others from becoming infected by risky sex in jail – or from infecting others when they are released from prison. These recommendations could affect the spread of the virus through the black community, where more than half of the new HIV cases have been diagnosed, according to the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention.

But in Rhode Island, where inmates are routinely tested for HIV and given free medical care and counseling, corrections officials balk at handing out condoms.

Sex is forbidden at the Adult Correctional Institutions, said Ellen Alexander, assistant director of administration at the Department of Corrections. “It’s our position, if we provide condoms we’d be condoning coercive sex,” Alexander said. Rest of Article. . . [Mark Godsey]

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