September 6, 2013
On September 4, Alabama Department of Corrections Commissioner Kim Thomas said that the department would no longer segregate HIV-positive inmates at the Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women and that this policy would extend to male inmates in 2014. The change in policy came after HIV-positive inmates in the state sued the department in 2011, claiming that the segregation policy violated their rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act. A U.S. District Court judge ruled in the inmates' favor after the case went to court last fall. Court documents directed the Department of Corrections to keep the identities of HIV-positive inmates confidential and to have a zero-tolerance policy for threats or abuse directed toward the prisoners. In addition, mandatory HIV education sessions were required for both correctional staff and inmates.