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Inmates Get Condom Vending Machines

Condom Vending Machines in Jail: Hooked Up or Turned Off?

Inmates in a California prison are about to have access to free condoms as part of a controversial new pilot program that hopes to limit the spread of STDs among inmates. The prison will get 10 condom vending 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. A spokeswoman for the Center for Health Justice says, "We know risk behavior is being reduced. We will eventually be reducing HIV infections by this measure." Gov. Schwarzenegger has twice vetoed legislation on statewide condom distribution, but agreed to conduct a one-year trial.

And no, taxpayers will not be shelling out for the rubbers (that was my first question) — a nonprofit group is paying to supply the prison with the machines and condoms, which will cost a total of $60,000.

The prison guard's union is against the plan because condoms can be a place to hide drugs and weapons — not to mention the fact that sex in prison is illegal outside of conjugal visits. Prisoners will be informed of this nooky-is-against-the-law fact when they're told where the machines are.


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