An average person's immediate reaction when suffering extreme stress is to seek a way to releive it. The body gets tense and our minds become anxious. Excercise helps and so does sex.
While the majority of males in prisons may claim that they are strictly heterosexual, it’s common to find “straight” offenders practicing unsafe sex while incarcerated.
Thousands of other wise heterosexual offenders fall into the temptations of homosexual sex and once released pose a hazard to their awaiting female spouse. There are over 19,000 HIV infected offenders in U.S. prisons and nearly half of all state correctional facilities do not segregate these inmates from the general prison population.
The rise of HIV in prison may come because of a variety of factors.
- Offenders in most prisons are prohibited from having any form of sexual contact with their spouse or persons of the opposite sex.
- Offenders are prohibited from purchasing or possessing condoms while in prison.
- Closed Custody Offenders are required to share a cell with another male inmate 23 hours a day.
- Offenders are prohibited from masturbating or possessing any form of pornographic material while in prison.
Those prison policies may seem unreasonable to some but officials claim they have a valid reason for enforcing these policies. Reasons include:
- Criminals would find little consequence for their actions if they knew they could go to prison and continue enjoying sexual relations with their spouses.
- Their spouses may become pregnant and burden tax payers in helping raise children whose parents are currently incarcerated and unable to support them.
- Condoms may encourage prisoners to have sex with fellow offenders.
- Condoms may be used to make deadly sling shots and consequently pose a hazardous environment to correctional officers.
- Allowing offenders the right to masturbate may encourage inmates to masturbate off staff of the opposite sex.
- Semen discharge may pose a serious health risk for staff and other offenders.