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Press Release

Mississippi Stops Segregating Prisoners With HIV

Alabama and South Carolina Last States to Maintain Discriminatory Policy After Advocacy by ACLU, Human Rights Watch

March 17, 2010

Jackson -- The Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC) has agreed to end the segregation of prisoners with HIV, Human Rights Watch and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said today. This longstanding discriminatory policy, reversed after two decades of advocacy by the ACLU, Human Rights Watch, and others, prevented prisoners from accessing key resources that facilitate their successful transition back into the community.

The decision by Mississippi's corrections commissioner Christopher Epps, prompted by recent advocacy by the ACLU and Human Rights Watch, leaves Alabama and South Carolina as the only states in the nation that segregate prisoners based on their HIV status. Epps made the decision ahead of a forthcoming report by the ACLU and Human Rights Watch analyzing the harmful impact segregation policies have had in the three states.

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See Also
More Legal Issues for Incarcerated HIV-Positive People

Reader Comments:

Comment by: teapot Wed., Apr. 14, 2010 at 12:50 pm EDT
it's basically impossible to get hiv from an attack that's not sexual and/or penetrative in nature. people with hiv shouldn't be punished for having it when they're already being punished by being in prison.
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Comment by: RealityCheck (Real, Life) Thu., Apr. 5, 2012 at 4:59 pm EDT
Rape is very real in the prison system. Inmates should be protected against rape. The reality is that this prison crime is always ignored. This is how many inmates contract HIV/Aids.

Comment by: Mrs. Collins (Mississippi) Thu., Apr. 1, 2010 at 5:47 pm EDT
This is great to know that they will be treated equally. They should not be pushed aside because of their diagnosis. They have a right to receive all resources that are available to help them be productive citizens
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Comment by: John Germano (Providence, RI) Mon., Mar. 22, 2010 at 11:18 pm EDT
It's hard enough in prison to try and rehabilitate yourself for a successful release without being quarantined. I can't imagine that in this day and age that we still allow such ignorance to pervade out system.
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