Thursday, April 15, 2010

Groups Protest Segregation of Inmates With H.I.V.

Published: April 14, 2010 - NY Times

In Alabama, prisoners infected with H.I.V. must wear white armbands and live in special units. In South Carolina, infected men have blue dots on their badges and are housed in a maximum-security prison; female prisoners carry the name of the H.I.V./AIDS dorm on their uniforms. The two states are the last to segregate and put blanket restrictions on H.I.V.-positive inmates and on Wednesday, rights groups called for change, saying the policies violate federal and international guidelines. Infected prisoners’ chances of early release and help in re-entering society are harmed as well, according to a report issued by the American Civil Liberties Union and Human Rights Watch. South Carolina bars them from participating in work-release, for example, and Alabama limits such opportunities. Prison officials in the two states say that segregation is necessary to prevent the spread of H.I.V. and provide specialized medical care.

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