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Mississippi Ends Segregation of Prisoners With HIV

Mississippi Ends Segregation of Prisoners With HIV

Human Rights Watch and the ACLU announced that Mississippi has officially ended its policy of segregating prisoners with HIV. Alabama and South Carolina are now the only states that continue this practice.

According to the press release, health experts agree that there is no medical basis for segregating prisoners. The practice does not protect anyone, but instead ostracizes a group of people, making them more vulnerable to hostility and violence from others. In addition, HIV-positive prisoners were prevented from accessing educational programs, vocational training and other essential resources to facilitate the transition into society.

Margaret Winter, associate director of the ACLU National Prison Project, remarks, “[Mississippi's corrections] Commissioner Epps deserves a tremendous amount of credit for making this courageous decision to replace a policy based on irrational HIV prejudice with a policy based on science, sound correctional practice, and respect for human rights. The remaining segregation policies in South Carolina and Alabama are a remnant of the early days of the HIV epidemic and continue to stigmatize prisoners and inflict them and their families with a tremendous amount of needless suffering.”

To learn more about the ACLU National Prison Project, which fights for prisoners’ rights, click here

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4:11AM PDT on Nov 1, 2010

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1:47AM PDT on Aug 17, 2010

Calling upon the UN Human Rights Council to issue an honest and effectual 2010 Report on the US justice system and Human Rights in the United States.

Our goal is 1,000 by early November 2010, prior to the review session at the United Nations Human Rights Council. Signers are encouraged to add comments, detailing the part of the justice system where they encountered corruption.

We, the undersigned, who live in the United States and elsewhere, call upon the Human Rights Council of the United Nations to engage in a thorough review of the justice system in the United States as part of the first ever - November 2010 - UPR (Universal Periodic Review) of Human Rights in the United States

We call upon the Human Rights Council to issue in November 2010 an honest and effectual UPR Report, calling upon the United States to take effective measures to restore integrity of its judiciary and its justice system.

Conditions now prevailing in the United States amount to large scale abuse of the people by the government of the United States. Moreover, such conditions pose risks that are difficult to assess to world peace and welfare.

Such conditions were documented in both state and United States courts, be it civil, criminal, bankruptcy, or family courts...

3:19PM PDT on Apr 4, 2010

Desegregation of HIV positive from the rest of the prison population is a TERRIBLE idea. This is not an issue of human rights. This is an issue of keeping other prisoners safe from contracting HIV. I usually agree with the ACLU, but not on this one. Those, who are concerned about the spread of HIV within the prison population because of rape, ought to be concerned. So should we all. This is very dangerous, especially given the number of rapes that occur inside prisons. I've had clients in prison. I know what happens there. This is a disaster in the making. Shame on the ACLU for being so myopic.

2:41PM PDT on Apr 2, 2010

There are people just saying, thanks and this is good news?????

Why do YOU think its GOOD news??? You must be FOR the spread of HIV. Thats all I can think.

2:36PM PDT on Apr 2, 2010

I really don't know about this at first I thought good but reading the comments about rape I really don't know. I think letting people know who the hiv positve ones are would be good eather becase they could be beat up.

1:25PM PDT on Apr 2, 2010

Could this possibly be a carefully orchestrated decision to kill off the prison population?

9:28PM PDT on Apr 1, 2010

I've heard of some pretty idealistic nonsense in my time, but this one takes the cake! AIDS is communicable through bodily fluids, and that means it can be spread by rape. Let's stop pretending that prison rape does not occur, or that the felons deserved it anyway, or even, by being in jail, they had just been asking for it. New prisoners, especially young guys in for non-violent offenses, are the most likely to be preyed upon and bullied. And, with the scarcity of weapons in prison and the penalties there for possession and use, an HIV positive convict is an assault rifle in the hands of organized crime bosses, who will use him to terrorize the prison population into subservience. They already terrorize other inmates by ordering rape attacks, which is a devastating degradation, and now, they have added the power of inflicting a fatal disease. ACLU, go jump in the river! I hope, just above Niagara Falls.

6:31PM PDT on Apr 1, 2010

This is good news. Thanks for the blog Natasha.

3:19PM PDT on Apr 1, 2010

Good to hear there's some humanitarian action happening somewhere.

10:05AM PDT on Apr 1, 2010

i look at the opinions here and i think why do they not consider TB as much as they do aids or HIV as something that is way out of hand, i bet that very few of the prisoners are ever tested for TB nor do they remove them from the prisons general population. TB is every bit as contageous if not more because there is an ignorance about TB in that people in this society even think about TB as being prevolant in the prison systems or jails in this country. Even the nursing homes test for that because it is so contageous and you don't even have to be touched or exposed through blood bourn means. I have gained a new respect for TB because i cought it while visiting my mom in the nursing home that she was in. Those are the prisoners who need to be taken out of the general population. Not people with HIV - Aids or even hep c.

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