July 22, 2013
The California Assembly currently is considering a bill that would allow prisoners to have condoms in their cells. California Health Care Services said that the cost to treat one patient for HIV/AIDS is nearly $30,000 per year, not including the cost of staff, diagnostic studies, and other expenses. A pilot study undertaken at Solano State Prison from November 2008 to 2009 examined whether it was more inexpensive to provide inmates with condoms versus the cost of providing treatment to inmates with HIV/AIDS. It cost $.65 per condom, or approximately $220,000 to provide inmates at all 33 prisons with condoms. According to Joyce Hayhoe, director of legislation and communications for California Health Care Services, the condom program would pay for itself by preventing just three cases of HIV/AIDS. Opponents argue that taxpayers should not pay for condoms so that inmates can have sex behind bars, especially since it is illegal for them to engage in intercourse. Currently, the California prison system is treating 1,055 inmates for HIV/AIDS.