NOTE: IN PRISON WITH AIDS: THE CONSTITUTIONALITY OF MASS SCREENING AND SEGREGATION POLICIES Skip over navigation
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Copyright (c) 1988 The University of Illinois
University of Illinois Law Review

NOTE: IN PRISON WITH AIDS: THE CONSTITUTIONALITY OF MASS SCREENING AND SEGREGATION POLICIES

1988

University of Illinois Law Review

1988 U. Ill. L. Rev. 151

Author

VICTORIA P. PAPPAS

Excerpt

I. INTRODUCTION

In Tallahassee, Florida, prisoners almost rioted when prison guards ordered them to remove the mattress of a prisoner believed to have Acquired Immunity Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). 1 In New Jersey, prisoners fear contracting AIDS from dirty dishes and often bring their own utensils to meals. 2 At the Stillwater Prison in Minnesota, the warden's announcement that a new prisoner had pre-AIDS symptoms led to rioting resulting in a ten-day lock-down. 3

America's prisoners are obsessed with the fear of contracting AIDS. 4 Many inmates believe they can contract AIDS through casual contact, from toilet seats and showers, and by having their clothes washed with those of AIDS-afflicted prisoners. 5 Prisoners reject official assurances that AIDS cannot be transmitted through these means, believing instead that prison administrators are concealing an AIDS epidemic. 6 Due to their suspicion of official prison policies, and to the lack of independent information available to them, prisoners are unnecessarily frightened of AIDS and zealous in their own efforts to contain its spread. 7

The population at large has also reacted to AIDS with a concern bordering on hysteria. 8 The public's fear of AIDS is due in part to the medical uncertainties that surround the disease, its incurability, and to its nearly certain fatal consequences. 9 The public's concern has been mirrored by the United States Public Health Service, which has declared AIDS the nation's number one health priority. 10

AIDS poses a formidable challenge for correctional institutions. 11 A substantial ...
 
 
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