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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

9/11/2013 (11 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Funds funneled for prison condom program, where sex is ostensibly banned

It is an unsavory fact of life that prisoners, segregated with members of their own sex have sexual relations with members of their own sex while behind bars. While ostensibly forbidden in prison, it still goes on, along with intravenous drug abuse. AIDS and HIV is a major concern for the prison population, and in response, the State of California has approved a condoms for prisoners program o on the taxpayer's dime.

Some lawmakers argue that the condoms encourage inmates to have sex, and break felony law.

Some lawmakers argue that the condoms encourage inmates to have sex, and break felony law.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

9/11/2013 (11 months ago)

Published in Politics & Policy

Keywords: Condoms, prisonos, California, bill


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The California Senate approved this week that requires prisons to hand out condoms at prisons, in spite of a sex ban.

As authored by Assemblyman Rob Bonta (D-Oakland), bill AB999 aims to cut the spread of HIV, Hepatitis C, AIDS and other diseases in prison communities. The bill requires that the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation make condoms initially available in five prisons by 2015 and in all 33 adult prisons by 2020.

Democratic lawmakers say the bill addresses public safety issues and would save the state money in the long run. "If those inmates get sick while they're in prison, that costs you a condom is cheaper than treating the disease after they get it," Sen. Rod Wright (D-Los Angeles), who carried the bill in the Senate.

Other lawmakers argue that the condoms encourage inmates to have sex, and break felony law.

The Senate approved the proposal 21-13, sending it to the Assembly. If the bill is passed into law, California would join Vermont, a state with a much smaller inmate population in providing condoms to all prisoners. Countries such as Canada, most of the European Union, Australia, Brazil, Indonesia and South Africa have already implemented this policy.

Then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed a 2007 bill that would have allowed nonprofit and health organizations to provide condoms to state prisoners. Schwarzenegger did however, told the corrections department to test a condom distribution program in one prison.

About 800 inmates in California State Prison, Solano, 30 miles southwest of Sacramento, had access to free condoms in vending machines for a year starting in November 2008.

Public health officials found few problems in a 2011 report and recommended the program be expanded.

California state prisoners today have limited sanctioned access to condoms. Spouses and domestic partners are allowed to bring as many as 10 condoms on overnight family visits with lower-level offenders who qualify for the incentive program. The condoms must be accounted for and are not permitted outside visiting areas.

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