Alabama’s Segregation for Inmates with HIV Faces Court Scrutiny

Verna Gates, Yahoo! News, September 17, 2012

Alabama, one of two U.S. states that segregate inmates with HIV from the rest of their prison population, will seek to defend the policy against a class action lawsuit headed to trial in federal court on Monday.

The American Civil Liberties Union sued Alabama in 2011 for what the group contends is a discriminatory practice that prevents most HIV-positive inmates from participating in rehabilitation and retraining programs important for their success after prison.

The state says the civil liberties group has failed to prove that there would be no significant risk of the infection being transmitted to other prisoners if inmates with HIV were fully integrated, according to court documents.

An appeals court upheld the segregated housing policy in 1999, but ACLU attorney Margaret Winter said advances in treatment for HIV infection warranted the court taking another look at the practice.

“It is based on an uneducated view on HIV and how it is transmitted, which really goes back to the dark ages of when it first started and there was hysteria,” she said.


Approximately 270 inmates out of the 26,400 in the state prison system have tested positive for the virus and none has developed AIDS, according to Alabama Department of Corrections spokesman Brian Corbett.

The inmates with HIV live, eat and have their recreation time apart from the general population, according to court documents filed by the ACLU. Male inmates in the HIV dormitories are given white arm bands that signal their medical status and are to be worn at all times, the group said.


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  • Puggg

    “It is based on an uneducated view on HIV and how it is transmitted,
    which really goes back to the dark ages of when it first started and
    there was hysteria,” she said.

    Sure, because it’s impossible to spread HIV through male anal sex or rape.

    • Aj

      They also throw cups of bodily fluids on corrections officers or so I have heard.

  • IstvanIN

    Why can’t they attend training and rehabilitation programs while living separate from the general population?  When I attend a meeting or seminar I don’t go home with the other attendees.

  • frank pucillo

    “It is based on an uneducated view on HIV and how it is transmitted. There we go again. When doing something that only common sense dictates we are uneducated. Well my education says that if you wish an epidemic of any infectious disease to never end. You keep the people who have that disease alive as long as possible. You also permit those people a chance to infect people who are not infected. So what the ACLU wants is to prolong the HIV epidemic.

  • Stentorian_Commentator

    You’ve got to be excrementing me here.  Rational basis for segregation?  Bleep yeah!  How about we set up a separate facility for the HIV positive and the ACLU, so they can get an idea of how HIV gets transmitted in the real world?

  • toldev

    Cases like this plainly show that there is no correct policy as far as the ACLU is concerned.

    If the State of Alabama had not segregated the HIV+ inmates, the predictable result would be thousands of inmates infected with HIV. If that happened, these same ACLU lawyers would be suing the state for not doing enough to protect the prisoners.

  • I think the ACLU exists for the sole reason to argue undermine common sense.

    • The__Bobster

      And I thought it was to destroy traditional America.

  • Defiant White

    QUOTE:  “It is based on an uneducated view on HIV and how it is transmitted, which really goes back to the dark ages of when it first started and there was hysteria,” she said.

    She is ACLU attorney Margaret Winter and I suspect she should be allowed to visit a male prison shower so she can see for herself what prison officials are afraid of.

  • RisingReich

    Time for the non-AIDS infected prisoners to file a class action lawsuit for reckless endangerment if they are forced to live with them.
    Daily dose of absurdity here.

  • jedsrael

    Alabama’s Segregation for Inmates with HIV Faces Court Scrutiny

    J-Words’ Segregation for J-Word Girls with J-Word Genes Faces Diversity Scrutiny

  • bluffcreek1967

    This article is just one more example of how utterly insane our country has become!

  • IstvanIN

     Actually HIV is very difficult to transmit.  The virus is very fragile.  Anal sex and sharing needles are the ways it is spread in the west.  Oral sex and saliva carry little risk to no risk.  The only reason female to male sexual transmission is such a big problem in black Africa is because they all run around with untreated genital STDs and have multiple sexual partners.  But prisoners should be segregated by HIV status.  And by race quite frankly.  And by age.  And by sexual orientation.  Prisons would be safer for both the COs and prisoners if we had any common sense.

  • Ed_NY

    The New York State Dept. of Corrections does not segregate inmates with HIV/AIDS.  I don’t know what the current statistics are but not long ago they had the highest percent of infected people in the nation for any group or sub group of people.  At one time it was nearly 80%.  I don’t know how they do it now, but they would never attribute the cause of any inmate death to AIDS.  They would attribute AIDS deaths to respitory arrest, cancer, natural causes, etc.  At one point they would not even admit that AIDS was an issue inside their prisons.  I doubt you would ever get an accurate official statement from that department.  The public information office is very good at misinformation.   And yes, their have been many cases of inmates infecting other inmates and even employees with HIV.  Their is one particular black inmate named Nushawn Williams who was recently in the news seeking release from prison.  He knowingly infected many women, mostly white women with HIV.  I believe the number of known cases where he knowingly passed on this disease exceeds 20 and in reality is probably much higher.  Blacks seem to like to share that dreadful disease once they are aware they have it.  Google Nushawn Williams HIV Predator.  

  • scutum

    The ACLU is a communist front organization and is intent on
    doing whatever it can to undermine our republic in the belief that if they
    bring down the United States it will mean the end of capitalism. The ACLU like
    the NAACP and a host of other communist front organizations was started by a
    particular ethnic group that seems to be obsessed with diversity, affirmative action and political correctness. Anyone with half a brain can see that this is simply a desperate effort to direct any attention away from them and shield them from any scrutiny or criticism. this particuilar group was resonsible for the Russian revolution and then fled when Stalin seized power. Many of them feld to the United States. Those who  didn’t come here went to Canada, England, Australia and other Western nations. Their children and grandchildren have infiltrated and now dominate our insitutions. This is why we see so many Marxists and their hairbrained ideas coming out of our Universities, the MSM and our government. 

    See “Red Diaper Babies” and “Discover The Networks”