Ensure Access to Condoms in US Prisons and Jails

The management of infectious disease in prisons is a human rights imperative as well as a matter of public health. Given the high level of HIV infections among those who enter prison, making condoms readily accessible to inmates is an effective and inexpensive measure that corrections officials should take to limit the spread of infection. The experience of correctional systems that have distributed condoms indicates no adverse security consequences associated with those policies. Human Rights Watch urges prison officials and policymakers to comply with best practice based upon international human rights standards, US constitutional law, and the recommendations of correctional health experts to ensure that condoms are available to inmates.