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AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) and the Criminal Justice System: A Preliminary Report and Recommendations

NCJ Number
Record Volume: 42 Issue: 7 Dated: (November 1987) Pages: 901-923
Date Published
23 pages
This preliminary report provides information on the incidence of and problems created by acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) in New York State's criminal justice system and proposes interim recommendations for immediate action to address the problems.
AIDS has become the leading cause of death in New York State correctional facilities, and the incidence of AIDS and related conditions among persons processed in the State's criminal justice system is increasing inexorably. The AIDS epidemic in the criminal justice system is fueled primarily by the high percentage of persons with histories of intravenous drug abuse, which is a principal means for transmitting the AIDS virus. The lack of comprehensive AIDS education for those who work in and come into contact with the criminal justice system impedes the reduction of the problem, as does the lack of information about and coordination of cases involving defendants with AIDS who put their medical condition in issue in criminal proceedings. There are also problems attending the incarceration or release of pretrial detainees and sentenced persons with AIDS. Debate surrounds proposals for AIDS testing in the criminal justice context. Interim recommendations pertain to a comprehensive education program about AIDS for persons in all components of the criminal justice system, AIDS testing and identification, and the coordination of a plan to counter the AIDS epidemic in the criminal justice system. 40 footnotes.