Should California inmates practice safe sex?
July 8, 2013
A California lawmaker has proposed requiring state prison officials to distribute condoms to inmates in order to limit the spread of HIV and other diseases. [ABC 10]
Democratic Assemblyman Rob Bonta’s bill, AB 999, would require the state Department of Corrections to make condoms available in five prisons a year beginning in 2015 and in all state prisons by 2020.
State law currently prohibits inmate sex, but the frequency in which inmates do have sex has led to a rate of AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases that is much higher than the general population.
In 2007, a similar bill passed the legislature, but Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed it. Schwarzenegger, however, directed the Department of Corrections to institute a pilot condom distribution program for inmates.
Between November 2008 and November 2009, the state distributed condoms in vending machines at Solano State Prison.
The effect of the program on the sexually transmitted disease rate in the prison is unknown, according to the bill.