Commercial Appeal (Memphis) (04.20.12) - Tuesday, April 24,
Shelby County commissioners recently debated a plan to screen
inmates for HIV prior to their release.
During an April 18 jail budget discussion, Commissioner Henri
E. Brooks proposed pre-release HIV testing of inmates as a way
to slow the spread of HIV. "Common sense says we need to do
this," she said.
"It does not appear unreasonable to test them on the way out
of the jail because they've been in an environment where they
could contract HIV," Commissioner Brent Taylor noted in
Yvonne Madlock of the county health department said HIV tests
already are offered to inmates who want them. Approximately 2
percent of those requesting an HIV test are found to be
positive, she said. She also cautioned that widespread testing
could be complicated by false-negative/positive results. The
discussion ended without a vote.
In 2008, Brooks called for the distribution of condoms in the
county jail. Then-Sheriff Mark Luttrell shot down that
proposal, saying sex between inmates is prohibited.