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Prison and HIV or Hepatitis: June 17 Meeting in Washington

May 5, 2000

A one-day meeting on key issues of prisoners with HIV and/or hepatitis will be held June 17, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. near Dupont Circle in Washington, D.C. It is sponsored by the National Prison Project of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

From the conference flyer:

No Lost Causes:
An Action Meeting on HIV and Hepatitis in Prison

What it is. . .
A one-day strategy session on four of the most pressing issues facing prisoners with HIV and community advocates today.

Who should attend. . .
Health care providers, AIDS service organizations, former prisoners, correctional professionals and health care workers, faith-based organizations, lawyers, people living with HIV and/or Hepatitis C, activists, treatment advocates.

What to expect. . .
In-depth discussions of the issues, action steps and opportunities for national networking related to the following topics:


Statewide HIV Segregation

Policies in Alabama, Mississippi and South Carolina segregate all HIV-positive inmates and exclude them from prison programming. This means that HIV-positive prisoners serve longer sentences and do much harder time than their HIV-negative counterparts. This session will focus on developing elements of statewide action campaigns including: legal advocacy, community organizing and media outreach. The discussion will center on ongoing work in these three states; the session will be relevant to a wider audience concerned with de facto or partial segregation policies that occur across the country.


HIV Treatment in Jails

Jails present unique challenges to prisoners who need access to health-care providers, medications, and discharge planning. Such problems pose serious risks to prisoners with chronic or life-threatening illnesses. This session will discuss short term and long term solutions, and identify unique strategic approaches required for implementing better practices.


Not Just HIV: Fighting Hepatitis C and HIV in Prisons

Hepatitis C (HCV) is the newest and fastest growing epidemic in U.S. prisons and jails. This session will discuss key issues of this emerging epidemic including advocacy for prisoners with HCV and HIV in prison; problems with medical care and access to treatments; lack of education (including peer education) and support around hepatitis and HIV. This session will also discuss the serious problems faced by women prisoners, and all prisoners who try to access treatment for HCV and HIV.


Building New Alliances to Win

After more than two decades of concerted efforts by prisoners' advocates to protect the rights of HIV positive prisoners, many of the most egregious cases remain unchanged and unresolved. This session will look at the connections necessary for sustained, effective action campaigns. Possible topics include: how to bring prison issues to the attention of local legislators; building relationships between churches, AIDS service organizations and groups representing people of color; how and when to pitch a story to local media; bringing national attention to bear on local issues.


Lunch Session:

The criminal justice system frequently treats HIV as a weapon or evidence of a crime rather than as a medical condition. HIV-positive defendants convicted of biting, spitting, fighting and throwing feces have been convicted of serious felony charges like attempted murder, and assault with a deadly weapon. This lunch meeting will discuss how we can address this trend.

Location: National Prison Project of the American Civil Liberties Union, 1875 Connecticut Avenue N.W. Washington , D.C. (just north of Dupont Circle across the street from the Washington Hilton).

For More Information

For paper copies of the flyer, to register, for additional information on the meeting, or to offer (or request) community housing, please contact Jackie Walker, 202-234- 4830, or fax 202-234-4890, or e-mail jckiewalk@aol.com .

Prisonpoz email list: This new email list "for activists, prisoners, lawyers and others interested in progressive change on the issue of HIV and hepatitis in prisons" started this year. To join, send email to listproc@critpath.org; no subject is necessary, but the first line should be: subscribe prisonpoz <first> <last> (where <first> and <last> are your first and last names -- do not include the brackets).



ISSN # 1052-4207

Copyright 2000 by John S. James. Permission granted for noncommercial reproduction, provided that our address and phone number are included if more than short quotations are used.


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