Monday, August 9, 2010


HIV/AIDS is still, ultimately, a death sentence. It is listed as a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO). It is our moden black plague. But it is an issue of "civil rights" and "gay rights" for those on the left of our government - and that includes the Civil Rights Division of the DOJ. They can't or won't enforce laws to insure that our ballot boxes remain inviolate, but they can pursue a policy that will surely condemn numerous people to new HIV infections.

South Carolina has a policy in its prisons to test new prisoners for the HIV virus before placing them in the general prison population. If a person is found infected, they are placed in a special facility for the HIV infected where they can immediatly start receiving treatment and councilling. Approximately 50% of those found infected by the initial screening did not know they were infected.

This policy has been virtually foolproof in stopping the spread of HIV through the South Carolina prison population. In humanitarian terms, it is a policy that has insured that the infected get treatment. The policy actually costs South Carolina approximately $2 million per year.

Yet, according to J. Christian Adams, Obama's DOJ is quite willing to place all of South Carolina's prison population - and ultimately the larger population in South Carolina and its environs - in danger in order to vindicate the "civil rights" of those people infected with AIDS. This from Mr. Adams:

. . . 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.
The Justice Department objects to separate living facilities and specialized medical treatment for the HIV/AIDS prison population. Naturally, DOJ has threatened a lawsuit.

. . . The DOJ is in a lose-lose situation. Even if DOJ wins a lawsuit, sources tell me South Carolina is simply going to cancel all of the special testing, treatment and counseling, thereby saving the state $2 million a year.

Instead, the state will dump infected prisoners into the general population, and nobody will know they have AIDS. Worse, prisoners who come to prison with HIV/AIDS will never know they have the disease and their lives will be shortened because the testing program will end.

Special counseling would end, too. . . .

Justice raises three primary objections to this effective and humane approach. First, it prevents infected prisoners "from participating in activities and jobs of their choosing." Leave it to bureaucrats in Washington to concoct the grievance that prisoners have choices when it comes to activities in the first place.

Second, DOJ claims the South Carolina program is unconstitutional, something the courts have repeatedly rejected. Once again we see the rule of law falling by the wayside when it comes to decisions of this Civil Rights Division. This is the same Civil Rights Division that was sanctioned more than $4 million during the Clinton administration for bringing cases as frivolous as the one against South Carolina prisons.

Third, with all the pragmatism of a sociology lecture at Harvard, DOJ argues that the separation of the HIV/AIDS prisoners "stigmatizes" the prisoners. Ozmint responds, "Prison is a voluntary activity; breaking the law, earning a criminal record, and wearing 'state issue,' all stigmatize. Since one purpose of prison is punishment, this stigmatization is somewhat intentional." How refreshing. . . .

It is one thing to protect the rights of "minorities" from baseless discrimination. But concern about HIV/AIDS is anything but baseless. The Civil Rights division is simply out of control. At a minimum, people in jail have an 8th Amendment Right to be free from "cruel and unusual" punishment which, I am sure most courts would define to include the likelihood of HIV transmission. Adams is right. The Civil Rights Division is out of control. As is virtually the entire Obama administration.

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