Thursday, October 17, 2013

Governor Brown Vetoes Prison Condoms

HIV and AIDS activists are baffled by California Governor Jerry Brown's veto of AB 999, the latest of California's proposed condoms-in-prisons bills. It is the third such bill that has been vetoed; the previous two were vetoed by former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Entitled The Prisoner Protections for Family and Community Health Act, the measure proposed that California's Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation construct a five-year plan extending the availability of condoms in all California prisons. The bill also required that all non-administrative costs, including condoms and dispensers, would be paid for by donation, according to The Sacramento Bee.

In Brown's message regarding the veto, he argues the bill isn't needed because "the Department [of Corrections] currently allows family visitors to bring condoms for the purpose of the family overnight visitation program."

Many activists say that Brown's response fails to address the issue that the bill proposed to correct. Assemblyman Rob Bonta, from Oakland, was the legislator behind the vetoed measure. He told Los Angeles Times that "Sex in prisons is happening. It's illegal, technically, but it is happening. The issue of family visits is just not the issue."

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