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Prisoners: Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Volume 694: debated on Tuesday 17 July 2007

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Further to the Written Answer by Baroness Ashton of Upholland on 12 June (WA 245), which stated that prisoners have been identified as a high-risk group for sexually transmitted diseases, whether there is a case for making condoms available in prisons. [HL4728]

Above all other considerations, prisons must maintain good order and discipline for people in custody. They should not therefore take any action that can be interpreted as encouraging overt sexual behaviour by prisoners.

However, the Prison Service recognises that sex in prisons does occur and that this brings with it associated public health concerns. Prison doctors therefore have authority to prescribe condoms if, in their clinical judgment, there is a risk of HIV infection or transmission of any other sexually transmitted illness.

Condoms should not be made available to prisoners without appropriate information and guidance on sexual health education being given first.