Georgia Prisons Release Inmates to Comply With Court Order on Overcrowding, Health Care for HIV-Positive Inmates
Fulton County, Ga., on Thursday released 67 prison inmates charged with "minor offenses" in order to comply with a federal court order requiring the county to reduce overcrowding in its prisons to improve the quality of medical care for HIV-positive prisoners, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports (Yoo, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 5/31). U.S. District Judge Marvin Shoob on Wednesday ordered the county to release a number of inmates awaiting trial who had already been incarcerated longer than the maximum sentence that they would have faced if convicted (Rankin, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 5/30). The court order stems from a lawsuit brought by several HIV-positive inmates charging that overcrowding is "one of the factors causing poor health care" for prisoners with HIV. In April 2000, Shoob ordered the county to improve medical care for its inmates and reduce overcrowding, stating that overcrowding "poses significant health risks to HIV-positive inmates, as well as to other inmates, staff and the community" (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 4/17/00). In April 2002, Shoob stated that the county remained "far from compliance" regarding many aspects of the court order and gave county officials 30 days to submit a report outlining how the problems would be fixed (AIDS Litigation Reporter, 5/6).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.