about stds logo

California Considers Condoms in Prisons

Controversy is brewing in California, where Rob Bonta, an Oakland Democratic Assemblyman, is proposing that prisons in the state provide condoms to all prisoners. Only one state, Vermont, currently makes condoms readily available to inmates, and some say it encourages illegal sexual activity. Prisons may offer condoms in prisons

The Controversy

Condoms are currently banned in the majority of prisons across the nation aside from a few exceptions, like conjugal visits. Having sexual relations in prison is a felony in California, and opponents of the initiative believe it will encourage sexual activity among prisoners. Others believe the condoms could be used to smuggle banned substances. However, supporters are arguing that providing protection will help cut STD rates and foster good habits.

STDs in Prisons

Even with laws banning sex in prisons, it does still happen. And without resources available, most sex goes unprotected. Sexually transmitted disease rates in prison communities are notably higher than the general population’s. The University of California, San Francisco, estimated that cases of HIV could be up to 10 times higher than in regular society and may affect 1% of California’s prison population.

Testing the Proposal

Former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed a similar bill in 2007 that would have provided condoms to prisoners, but he did ask for the idea to be tested in a California State Prison. About 800 inmates were given access to condoms for one year starting in November 2008. The Vermont Department of Corrections has been offering condoms to inmates since 1992. Neither program created noteable security issues. On a lower scale, some jails in New York City, Philadelphia and Washington D.C. provide protection when requested.

What do you think about condoms in prisons? If inmates are having sex no matter what, it may be a good idea to provide them with resources to protect themselves. For more awareness on HIV and  STD prevention, let TEST SMARTLY LABS be a resource for you.


posted in HIV,STD Prevention,STDs and have Comments (9)


  1. Comment by TITLE Boxing Club Parsippany on July 11, 2013 at 7:43 pm

    Definitely one of those things that its going to happen whether its allowed or not. I think they should go ahead and provide them if it will cut down on medical costs because of the STDs being transmitted.

  2. Comment by Speedtech International on July 11, 2013 at 9:21 pm

    I don’t see how it could hurt, but I do worry about ban substances being moved around eaiser.

  3. Comment by AAMCO Transmissions & Total Car Care of Independence on July 12, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    This doesn’t sounds like a horrible idea, as human beings they still deserve to have their health.

  4. Comment by TEST SMARTLY LABS of Kalamazoo on July 12, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    I think the “provide condoms when they are requested” might be the best and least-controversial solution. That way if the inmates wish to practice safe sex they can, but it doesn’t encourage more sexual conduct in prison.

  5. Comment by TITLE Boxing Club Charlotte Ballantyne on July 12, 2013 at 5:54 pm

    We spend so much money on the jailing system already. How much more is this going to cost us?

  6. Comment by TITLE Boxing Club Crystal Lake on July 12, 2013 at 7:13 pm

    What a tragedy. Just hope he learns from his mistake.

  7. Comment by TITLE Boxing Club Lake Zurich on July 12, 2013 at 7:33 pm

    Condoms are meant to be protective against the spread of disease, and if inmates are doing this there should at least but something to protect everyone from disease.

  8. Comment by TITLE Boxing Club Dallas Central & Forest on July 15, 2013 at 4:38 pm

    Interesting that this discussion even came up, it’s not the first thing anyone would think of.

  9. Comment by Certified Credit Experts on July 16, 2013 at 4:37 pm

    I think that’s a great idea!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *