Date of Award

3-27-2009

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Medical Doctor (MD)

First Advisor

John Harley Warner

Abstract

This study examined the question of whether condom distribution programs should be implemented within all jails and prisons in the United States. Epidemiological data on prisoner HIV prevalence and transmission rates were examined. The arguments for and against condom distribution were examined through the lens of the recent debate regarding a proposal to implement such programs in all state prisons in California. These arguments were then analyzed through existing data on prisoner condom distribution programs. No existing prisoner condom distribution program has been discontinued. Correctional officer safety issue, smuggling of contraband, and frequency of sexual acts within prison seem to be substantially unaffected by existing condom distribution programs. Furthermore, analysis of laws regarding sex in prison in California suggests that the basis of arguments against condom distribution may be legally unfounded. These findings argue that prisoner condom distribution programs should be widely implemented in the United States.

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