AIDS Testing for Prison Inmates

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Can the Government Force Inmates to Be Tested for AIDS / HIV?

Whether the government can force prison inmates to have their blood tested for AIDS / HIV depends on the law of each particular state. For example, the state supreme courts of Illinois and California have ruled that the state can require certain inmates to be tested for AIDS / HIV.

Does Forced Testing Violate Inmates' Rights?

Laws requiring inmates to take blood tests have been challenged on a number of constitutional grounds including the rights against unreasonable search and seizure and cruel and unusual punishment, and the right to equal protection.

However, the courts have usually based their decisions on the states' police power, under which it has the authority to ensure the public health and safety of its citizens. The courts' main concern has been the rapid spread of AIDS / HIV and the role that blood tests play in protecting the public at large. The courts have found that the intrusion on the inmates' rights is minimal in comparison to the benefits to the public health and safety.

Which Inmates Are Tested for AIDS / HIV?

In most states where blood testing of inmates is utilized, the testing is limited to inmates convicted of crimes that pose a high risk of AIDS / HIV transmission. These crimes include:

Do I Need a Criminal Defense Attorney?

If you have a problem regarding forced blood testing for prison inmates, speak with a criminal law attorney. A criminal law attorney will be the most familiar with the laws of your state, and the rights you are guaranteed. 

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Last Modified: 04-21-2014 04:20 PM PDT

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