Data on California criminal laws that were intended to control the spread of HIV, revealed that in 95 percent of incidents, no proof of exposure or transmission was required for prosecution, according to a study released today by the UCLA Williams Institute.
Records obtained from the California Department of Justice on the criminal history of all individuals who have had contact with the criminal justice system under four of the state’s HIV-related criminal laws, show that from 1988 to 2014, 800 people living with HIV were directly impacted by these laws, said the report’s primary author, Amira Hasenbush, the Jim Kepner Law and Policy Fellow at the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law.
Some findings from the report, titled “HIV Criminalization in California: Penal Implications for People Living with HIV/AIDS,” include:
“Like the rest of the criminal justice system, we are seeing certain communities bearing more of the weight of the penal code than others,” Hasenbush said.
The state outcomes suggest that national HIV criminalization rates may be much higher than currently estimated.
Read the full press release.