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Inmates To Get Free Condoms

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Inmates To Get Free Condoms In Solano County

Solano Prison Part Of Pilot Program

POSTED: 4:49 pm PDT July 30, 2008

UPDATED: 7:44 am PDT July 31, 2008


VACAVILLE, Calif. -- A controversial new pilot program providing free condoms for prison inmates is in its final planning stages.

The Solano State Prison is installing 10 condom distribution machines that will be stocked with 1,200 condoms a week.

The hope is that the condoms will limit the spread of sexually transmitted diseases among inmates.

"We know risk behavior is being reduced," said Mary Sylla of the Center for Health Justice. "We will eventually be reducing HIV infections by this measure."

A nonprofit group is supplying the prison with the machines and condoms, which comes out to costing a total of $60,000.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has twice vetoed legislation that would have set up a statewide condom distribution, but last fall the governor ordered the Department of Corrections to conduct a one-year trial.

A union representing prison guard supervisors is opposed to the distribution of condoms.

The union said that condoms can be used as places to hide drugs or weapons.

"They can put stuff in them (condoms) and use them to throw at staff or other inmates," said Chris Gold of the Prison Supervisor's Union.

It is also technically against the law for inmates to have sex, and the state said that won't change.

"Sexual activity in prisons is still illegal," said Terry Thornton of the California Corrections Department. "Inmates will be notified of that as well where the machines are located."

Smaller test programs have already been in place at county jails in Los Angeles and San Francisco, and supporters said so far there has never been a report of a condom being used as a weapon.

After the one-year trial run is complete, state officials will produce a report about whether the program was a success or not.

It will then be up to the governor to decide whether to expand the program statewide.

No taxpayer money will be used for the trial program.

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Free condoms are important... When Big Bubba starts calling his cell mate Susan, at least he can wear a raincoat when he climbs on top of him...

But they ought to include flavored condoms in case Big Bubba tells another roommate that he has pretty lips...

Now what I don't understan is how inmates are going to be using 1,200 rubbers a week...

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Figuratively, that's true. They have too much time to waste.

Literally, that's not true or they wouldn't need condoms then would they?

One way to look at it is that inmates DO have too much time on their hands, so with all that "hand solo" action going on, at least 1200 raincoats a week will make their prison cells a heck of a lot cleaner...

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