California Senate Approves Bill That Would Allow Groups To Distribute Condoms to Prison Inmates
The California Senate on Thursday voted 22-16 to approve a bill (AB 1677) that would allow not-for-profit or public health organizations to distribute devices -- such as condoms or dental dams -- that can protect against sexually transmitted infections to the state's 162,000 prison inmates, the AP/San Jose Mercury News reports (Young, AP/San Jose Mercury News, 8/24). Supporters of the bill, by Assembly member Paul Koretz (D), say it would help curb the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections in the state. The federal government estimates that about 30% of federal male prison inmates engage in sex acts with other male inmates. However, the state corrections department does not track the number of inmates caught or punished for engaging in such acts. Opponents of the bill say it would encourage inmates to engage in sexual intercourse in prisons, which is illegal in the state (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 6/3/05). The bill now goes to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) for consideration (Rau, Los Angeles Times, 8/25). According to Schwarzenegger's office, the governor has not taken a position on the bill (Reuters, 8/24).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.