- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 14, 2014

California lawmakers are considering a measure that would allow the state to distribute condoms to prison inmates, an attempt to cut down on sexually transmitted diseases and HIV, although sex acts between inmates would remain unlawful.

Reuters reports the bill is advancing in the Senate — it already passed the state Assembly — and would direct state officials to set up a five-year plan to hand out condoms throughout the state’s prison system.

“We are not only advocating for the improved health of prisoners,” the bill’s sponsor, Democratic Assemblyman Rob Bonta, said. “But we are also protecting communities across the state that could potentially be harmed by communicable diseases when former prisoners relocate to neighborhoods upon re-entry.”

However, Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a similar measure last year, and opponents say prisoners may use the condoms to store contraband, Reuters reports.

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