Seeking Clemency From an HIV Criminalization Sentence: When Has Time Been Served? A Blog Entry by Tim Hinkhouse
With over 30 years still left of his sentence for "attempted murder," Tim Hinkhouse wonders if medical advances in HIV treatment and his personal growth while in prison should make him eligible for clemency.
Chad Zawitz, M.D., Cook County Jail's clinical coordinator of HIV medicine, has been providing clinical services for detainees in the jail for years. He has seen the effects of stigma firsthand in the correctional facility, and he has learned his way...
"Russia's Article 122 was introduced into the Criminal Code, in particular, to protect women from HIV infection, but it is clear from our research that the law has been applied against women in Russia," Evgenia Maron writes.
As HIV criminalization laws in Oregon change, Tim Hinkhouse wonders if there's any chance the state's governor will take his latest application for clemency under consideration, or he will continue to remain in prison until 2050.
Kathy Boudin recalls the fight for early HIV education in prisons. "We all were saying, 'We have to do something about the crisis where there's a lot of fear. If we don't do it, no one else will do it.'"
"People with AIDS are vilified for something they did once in their lives -- for unsafe sex or injecting drugs," says Laura Whitehorn. It's similar with the population aging in prison, she says, held indefinitely due to parole denials.
"No amount of self-reliance and confidence could have inured me to the flagrant homophobia, racism and HIV stigmatization I confronted," says Gabriel Torres, an HIV doctor who is in prison as the result of meth addiction.
Jeremy Merithew shares about his everyday life serving an HIV criminalization sentence in a Michigan prison, the injustice of the law that got him there and how his experiences awoke his spiritual curiosity.
People rely on Tim Hinkhouse to cut their hair and do a good job. To those who stigmatize him for his HIV status, he says: "I will not let you characterize me as disgraceful or brand me with your misunderstandings!"
"My life seems easier living with an open mind than when I closed myself off to others who choose to live their lives differently from mine," Tim Hinkhouse explains. "Please don't think for one second that I won't accept you."