Friday, November 03, 2006

Now wait a minute here...

This comes from Philadelphia...
Philadelphia prison inmates would have greater access to condoms under a policy change being considered by city officials.
Among the changes being considered is the addition of condoms to the commissary list. That would both allow inmates to purchase condoms and send the message to prisoners and guards alike that they are a permitted item.
Prisons Commissioner Leon A. King II declined to discuss the issue yesterday, deferring to his spokesman, Robert Eskind. Eskind acknowledged discussions with activists had been ongoing, but said no decisions had been made.

Now wait a minute here.
Isn't part of imprisonment a denial of some rights? And wouldn't you think that would include sex? So these guys are facilitating a circumvention of the punitive aspect of incarceration?
This isn't anything new, though...
Eskind said issues had been raised about how the current policy, which has allowed condom distribution since 1988, was being adhered to.
"There were concerns that inmates were afraid to ask for them because they were afraid it was contraband," he said. "It's a public health issue. People who are in jail should have the same level of protection as people on the street."

But people in jail aren't supposed to be having sex, are they?
The city policy is already more liberal than most. The vast majority of jurisdictions - including New Jersey and Pennsylvania state prisons - consider condoms to be contraband because they can be used for smuggling.