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SUO HIV Testing Policy for Federal and State Prisons Discussion

 

Topic: HIV Testing Policy for Prisons

Thread: As a prison administrator (warden/superintendent), what would your recommendation be for HIV testing within the prison system? Why or why not? If so, when should it take place (e.g. during admission, anytime during incarceration, just prior to release)? Should the offenders who are HIV/AIDS positive be segregated? Would it be a violation of the offender’s rights to be segregated from the general population? With at least 3 citations in current APA format

Replies: Explain how your response relates to your classmate’s thread. Use 1 scriptural example with proper citation and at least 2 citations from the textbook or additional scholarly resource

Peer Response #1:

According to Solomon et al. (2014), The prevalence of HIV among people in correctional facilities is three to five times higher than among the general population, primarily because many inmates engaged in high-risk behavior such as intravenous drug use or sex work before becoming incarcerated. In 2006, an estimated 14-16 percent of all HIV-infected people in the United States passed through a correctional facility, which equals approximately 150,000 incarcerated people living with HIV (Solomon et al., 2014). These statistics explain why inmates need to be tested and receive adequate treatment to treat their health conditions.

As a prison administrator, my recommendation would be that all inmates who enter the prison get tested for HIV/AIDS. Inmates getting tested upon arrival to the prison would provide the prison staff with the needed information to effectively care for the inmates and keep up-to-date records on all inmates who have been infected, especially since many inmates are already infected with HIV/AIDS before incarceration. Also, if any inmates are found to be sexually active while incarcerated, they would be ordered to get tested to ensure the virus does not spread.

According to Gideon and Sung (2011), the Supreme Court has not ruled on the issue of segregating inmates who are infected with HIV/AIDS; however, the practices is condemned by the National Commission on AIDS, the National Commission on Correctional Health Care, and the Federal Bureau of Prisons. For this reason, as a prison administrator, I would not segregate inmates infected with the HIV/AIDS virus, but I would inform the general population of the prison that contains the infected inmates with a warning that inmates within the prison have tested positive for HIV/AIDS. Informing the general population that some inmates are infected with the HIV/AIDS virus will provide inmates with important information that could benefit their physical health and allow them to take the necessary precautionary measures while living amongst other inmates infected with the virus.

Until the segregation of offenders with HIV/AIDS is ruled by the Supreme Court to be a health concern for other inmates, I do not believe prisons should segregate offenders. However, once individuals become incarcerated, a lot of the rights afforded to them as regular civilians are stripped away, so prison that does segregate their offenders for the safety of their facility, I do not feel is an infringement of the inmate’s rights; it is just not a necessity. 1 Peter 3:8 states, “Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. This verve indicates from a Christian perspective the need for brotherly love, sympathy, and a tender heart towards others who are suffering. Inmates deserve to feel these qualities even if they are infected with the HIV/AIDS virus because God would not want society to treat them differently.

Peer Response #2:

As being a warden, I would recommend HIV testing within the prison system. Reasons being that 1.6% of male prisoners and 2.4% of female prisoners have HIV or confirmed to have AIDS (Gideon & Sung, 2011). Although, it is a common misconception that prisons are a breeding ground for the spread of HIV, most inmates were infected with said decease in the community before their incarceration (Gideon & Sung, 2011). I would have the prisoners tested upon arrival, if they have symptoms and upon release from the facility. Reason being I think knowing coming into the facility if someone is positive for HIV than it will be better for the staff to know in case, they have to treat that inmate. I do not believe that the inmates who are HIV positive should be segregated. Knowing if they are HIV positive, they should take the proper precautions in making sure they do not spread the decease. The inmates who are the most likely to contract HIV while in prison are non-white males currently serving time for sex offenses (Gideon & Sung, 2011). Comprehensive strategies to identify people with undiagnosed HIV infection, ultimately are to reduce the rates of new infections (Westergarrd et al., 2013).

The United States Supreme Court refuse to hear any case that involve segregation and mandatory testing of inmates for HIV (Gideon & Sung, 2011). The fact that the United States Supreme Court has denied involvement in these cases show that they are not ready to rule on the issues raised by these types of cases (Gideon & Sung, 2011). Inmates with HIV attempt to be placed into clinical trials at the prisons in hope to gain access to drugs they are otherwise might not receive (Gideon & Sung, 2011). In some correctional facilities due to the fact of inmates HIV positive tests they are still segregated at this time (Gideon & Sung, 2011). In my opinion, segregating individuals just because they have HIV is a violation of their rights. There are other people on this planet that have HIV but they are not segregated in society. I feel like it is a double standard for prison systems to make HIV positive inmates be segregated from the general public. When individuals with HIV become incarcerated, they continue to deserve the highest quality of medical care available (Westergaard et al., 2013). Westergaard et al. (2013), suggests that we must acknowledge and address the impact that the criminal justice system plays in the HIV epidemic.

John 7:24 states, “look beneath the surface you that you may judge correctly”. Can be interpreted as if you judge a book by its cover in this case because they have HIV you could miss out on a good person in the way that God made them.

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