Background Briefing


Despite increasing documentation of high rates of infectious disease, the occurrence of high-risk behaviors, and transmission of disease among inmates, the distribution of condoms in US jails and prisons continues to be limited. Opposition to these programs on the basis of security concerns is not supported by the evidence provided in reports from jails and prisons in jurisdictions that have established, evaluated, and chosen to retain their condom distribution policies. Human Rights Watch urges prison officials and policymakers to comply with best practices based upon international human rights standards, US constitutional law, and the recommendations of national correctional health experts to ensure that condoms are available to inmates.