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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 122754 Find in a Library
Title: AIDS and the Criminal Law (From AIDS: The Impact on the Criminal Justice System, P 111-136, 1990, Mark Blumberg, ed. -- See NCJ-122746)
Author(s): M A Field; K M Sullivan
Date Published: 1990
Page Count: 26
Sponsoring Agency: Merrill Publishing Co
Columbus, OH 43216
Sale Source: Merrill Publishing Co
P.O. Box 508
Columbus, OH 43216
United States of America
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This analysis of the possible uses of the criminal law in the effort to control AIDS concludes that AIDS-specific laws would be unwise because their deterrent impact would be outweighed by the costs of such an approach.
Abstract: The criminal law can have some deterrent effect on HIV transmission, but it imposes real costs to society. Such laws would jeopardize sexual privacy, be used to harass homosexual men, and discourage infected persons from cooperating with public health officials. The marginal deterrence that such laws might add to existing incentives is not worth these costs. Civil remedies may pose fewer problems than the criminal law, although they may greatly intrude into privacy in particular cases and may affect many wholly innocent persons simply because of their past sexual contacts. Despite their shortcomings, they are preferable to criminal prosecutions because they would impose less social costs. Another alternative to tort suits is to increase funds for medical research, public education, and counseling. 68 reference notes.
Main Term(s): AIDS/HIV prevention
Index Term(s): Civil remedies; Criminal codes; Deterrence; Right of privacy
Note: Reprinted from Law, Medicine and Health Care, V 15, N 1-2 (Summer 1987) P 46-60
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