On February 10, 2015, prisoners in Alabama need as many people as possible to call the prison officials below and demand that condoms be made available to prisoners through the medical healthcare unit and/or by adding them to the list of approved commissary items and products prisoners are allowed to purchase. Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are rampant in the prisons and to minimize their spread, condoms are a necessity! This is a major health issue. One prison has already been placed on quarantine due to widespread STDs. CALL: Commissioner Kim Thomas: (334) 353-3883 Governor Robert Bentley: (334) 242-7100 Spread the word! We want condoms! SUGGESTED SCRIPT: I’m calling in support of prisoners’ demand for condoms. As Governor/Commissioner, you have the power to allow prisoners access to condoms. It has been brought to my attention that STDs are rampant in Alabama prisons and that if prisoners are allowed access to condoms through the commissary and/or health care unit, it will minimize the spread of STDs and help save lives and medical costs. SOME FACTS ABOUT STDs AND PRISONS
- Globally, 10 million people are locked up, with 6 countries locking up at least one of every 200 of their citizens.
- HIV prevalence within prisons is estimated to be between 2 and 50 times those of general adult population. Prisons are a high-risk environment for HIV transmission with drug use and needle sharing, tattooing with homemade and unsterile equipment, and sex.
- Overcrowding creates a breeding ground for opportunistic infections.
- The reported rates of syphilis are higher in correctional environments than in the non-incarcerated population.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended the correctional systems to evaluate existing condom programs.
- The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends condoms in prisons.
- Over 80% of European Union prisons systems, the Correctional Service of Canada, and prisons in Australia, South Africa, Brazil, Indonesia, and Iran provide condoms for prisoners.
- In the U.S., Mississippi and Vermont state prisons have condom distribution programs.
- Condom distribution programs exist in the Los Angeles, CA; San Francisco, CA: New York City, NY; Philadelphia, PA; and Washington D.C. county jails.
- Released prisoners constitute 17% of U.S. population with AIDS
- Released prisoners constitute 35% of U.S. population with tuberculosis
- Prisoners constitute a high rate of Hep C infections
- Studies in California with condom distribution programs in Solano State Prison concluded that condoms were effective in combating the spread of STDs among prisoners and at a low cost.
Sources: 1. http://www.avert.org/prisoners-hivaids.htm 2. Evaluation of a Prisoner Condom Access Pilot Program Conducted in One California State Prison Facility