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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 126517 Find in a Library
Title: Criminal Law and Prisoners (From AIDS Cases and Materials, P 679-740, 1989, Michael L. Closen, Donald H. J. Hermann, et al. -- See NCJ-126507)
Author(s): G Schultz
Date Published: 1989
Page Count: 62
Sponsoring Agency: John Marshall Publishing Co
Houston, TX 77081
Sale Source: John Marshall Publishing Co
4888 Loop Central Drive
Suite 800
Houston, TX 77081
United States of America
Type: Best Practice/State-of-the-Art Review
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A number of legislatures have passed or at least considered legislation aimed at reducing the spread of the AIDS virus by penalizing certain conduct.
Abstract: Such a law might punish AIDS transmission, for example, only when the defendant (1) actually knew from testing or diagnosis that he had AIDS or was an AIDS carrier and (2) failed to disclose his condition to his partner or failed to use appropriate precautions. Only the combination of disclosure and precautions could suffice as a defense. However, any attempt to press this criminal law into service for the purpose of furthering the public health goal of reducing the spread of the AIDS virus will be expensive, ineffective, and counterproductive. Where the evidence is solid that the defendant intended to transmit the virus and chose an effective way to do so, or knowingly created a high risk of transmission, prosecution may be justified. However, the public health interests are best served by encouraging those at risk to come forward to be tested, counseled, and otherwise helped in this very difficult time. Education has been shown to be an effective means of slowing the spread of AIDS. Voluntary programs and guaranteed protection from discriminatory practices such as unjustified loss of employment, health care insurance, and housing can compliment and reinforce educational programs.
Main Term(s): AIDS/HIV in correctional facilities
Index Term(s): AIDS/HIV transmission; Inmate health care; Mandatory reporting of diseases
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