Last week the New York Times editorial page supported California’s bill allowing condom distribution in state prisons (but I didn’t get to writing about it until now because I’ve been out of town).
The bill is good, but it doesn’t go far enough — it ought to mandate condom distribution and the making available of HIV testing — but it’s a start. Governor Schwartzenegger should sign this bill, not only because it protects prisoners, but also because it protects their partners once they’re released. Those who nearly killed the bill on “moral” grounds need to understand that it is immoral to endanger the general public by releasing men from prison who are sexually active, uneducated about HIV, unaware of their HIV status, and who unintentionally put others at risk. Protecting the public health through HIV education, prevention and testing for prisoners is a moral imperative!