(Via Instapundit) This is a joke, right? Surely not even this administration is going to let people die of AIDS – even if they’re convicts – by going after humane correctional policies designed to keep uninfected convicts from being infected while still providing the infected treatment and counseling. Even if it does mean removing terminally ill, infectious convicts from the general prison population. That’s just not right.
Some states long ago implemented policies to protect the uninfected part of the prison population while providing exceptional medical treatment and counseling to the infected population.
In South Carolina, it has worked so well since 1998 that there has only been a single transmission of HIV/AIDS to a noninfected prisoner. All that may change, however, thanks to a threat from Eric Holder’s Justice Department.
South Carolina received a letter from the now-infamous Civil Rights Division that the policy of keeping infected inmates at a designated facility, instead of scattered across the state in the general prison population, may unfairly stigmatize infected prisoners. To the Obama political appointees in the Civil Rights Division, this constitutes discrimination under the Americans With Disabilities Act.
But apparently that’s going to be policy. At least, if the White House has its way.
What makes this particularly appalling is that the state of South Carolina is apparently not actually required to provide universal AIDS testing, specialized drug programs, and/or counseling to HIV-positive convicts. In fact, if the state wanted to it could save itself two million dollars a year and let AIDS patients (half of whom reportedly weren’t even aware of their status before incarceration) mingle with the general population. That the result would unquestionably result in higher AIDS infection rates in the South Carolinian prison population is apparently not a sufficient deterrent for the White House. Either that, or they just don’t care: many Democrats have a bad habit of being callous towards prison conditions as a cheap way of burnishing their tough guy credentials… which is unfortunately a largely successful strategy, as anybody concerned about prison rape will readily tell you.
Still, I’d love to know why the White House thinks that one convict’s ‘right’ to have access to slightly more prison jobs should trump another convict’s right to not die slowly over a decade as his immune system collapses. And note where I used the scare quotes.
Crossposted to Moe Lane.