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GMHC Releases New Report, "Fenced in: HIV/AIDS in the U.S. Criminal Justice System"

11.28.2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contacts:
Krishna Stone | 212.367.1016

New York, NY—In conjunction with World AIDS Day (12/1), Gay Men's Health Crisis released a new report, "Fenced in: HIV/AIDS in the U.S. Criminal Justice System," which addresses the dual epidemic of HIV and mass incarceration in the U.S. and offers policy recommendations to improve the health of affected communities.  This comprehensive report documents how mass imprisonment often destroys relationships, healthcare regimens, and employment opportunities for formerly incarcerated individuals.  As a result, communities with high rates of incarceration also tend to have high rates of HIV infection.  The state of HIV care and prevention inside prisons and jails is also examined, and comparisons between states in the U.S. and countries across the globe are explored.

Some recommendations in the report include:

  • Prisoners should be recruited to become peer educators about HIV epidemiology and prevention. These leaders should also conduct outreach to fellow prisoners about the benefits of HIV testing.
  • Prisons should avoid the use of solitary confinement under any circumstances, especially of prisoners living with HIV. Solitary confinement can make access to treatment and medications extremely difficult and irregular.
  • Condoms and other prophylactic devices should be made readily available to inmates without having to request them from medical staff, via vending machines or other dispensaries.

"Through this report and other work statewide and nationally, we at GMHC assert our commitment to combatting the AIDS epidemic within corrections systems," stated Marjorie J. Hill, PhD, CEO of GMHC.  "Prisons and jails are crucial battlegrounds in the fight for an 'AIDS-free generation,' and they remain a top priority in our policy work."

Many of the maps and other visuals in Fenced in were drafted by the Legal Action Center.  The report also includes an opening statement from Mr. Hilary Shelton, the Director of the NAACP Washington Bureau and Senior Vice President for Policy and Advocacy.

Click here to read the comprehensive report.

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About GMHC
GMHC is a not-for-profit, volunteer-supported and community-based organization committed to national leadership in the fight against AIDS.  We provide prevention and care services to men, women and families that are living with, or affected by, HIV/AIDS in New York City.  We advocate for scientific, evidence-based public health solutions for hundreds of thousands worldwide.