The war against drugs and substance abuse in the United States is the activities aimed at reducing the use of drugs. The war against drugs in prisons has a direct impact on the lives of prisoners. It is also related to the rates of HIV in prisons. The higher the rate of drug abuse is in prisons, the higher is the rate of HIV. This paper has placed emphasis on the war against drugs and its effect on corrections. Also, this paper has reviewed the rates of HIV in prisons and the effect the war against drugs has on the spread of this sexually transmitted disease. The effects of the war on drugs on the rates of infection have gotten attention in this paper. Possible efforts to change the state of the increased HIV infection spread have been critically discussed in this paper.
Effects of the Wars on Drugs on the HIV Rate within the Criminal Justice
The war on drugs has taken many directions in the United States. It has particularly been manifested through campaigns. When campaigning against the use of drugs in prisons, the anti-drugs institutions such as NACADA have been going throughout the USA offering counseling services for the use of hard drugs. It has resulted in a decreased rate of the abuse of drugs in the United States. Rehabilitation services offered by these institutions and campaigns against the use of drugs have been hugely instrumental in shaping a reducing rate in the graph of HIV positive individuals in the United States correctional institutions. Therefore, a reduced rate of the spread of HIV/AIDS has been witnessed in American prisons. The prison population today is soberer than ever before and they do not engage in irresponsible sexual behavior that mostly results in the increase of the rates of HIV/AIDS (Evans & Goldberg, 2009).
With the war against drugs in the United States, there have been reduced rates of the HIV transmission. It gets reflected through the reduced prisoners’ use of needles to inject hard drugs . The greatest and fastest spreader of HIV in the United States is the use of injections. It gets transmitted since there is a blood contact during the injections of these individuals. The war against drugs in the United States has made several progressive steps to limit the sharing of needles in prisons (Bush-Baskette, 2010). People campaigning against drug abuse have also provided more needles in prisons in the United States. The members of the criminal justice system who had been HIV positive before the war against drugs received intense attention as at the moment they had received their diagnoses. They have received counseling and have been encouraged to live positively.
The HIV rate within the criminal justice system has also reduced due to the education that comes with the war on drugs. The war against the use of drugs in the United States comes with education for prison inmates. Prisoners get advised on how drug abuse has a direct impact on the increasing rate of HIV in prisons. They are informed that the rate of HIV must be affected by the impaired judgment, which comes with the use of drugs in prisons. The race to have drug free correction institutions in the United States has also led to the deployment of irresponsible workers in the criminal justice system who supply drugs to prison inmates. It has resulted in a reduced impact on the rates of the HIV infection since there are fewer instances of drug abuse in prisons. Therefore, the prison population is soberer and it results in a reduced rate of HIV in prisons. The sobriety of the prison population has enhanced an atmosphere in which prisoners are more alert about their HIV status. Therefore, the war against drugs in prisons should continue since it is functionally necessary and productive in fighting the rates of HIV infections in the United States correction institutions (Seiler, 2008).
The war against drugs has discouraged the wrong use of needles to make tattoos in prisons. Prisoners start tattooing themselves under the influence of drugs. The truth about the use of needles in prisons is that it is extremely hard to get a new needle. Under the influence of drugs, the risk of HIV infection is a minimal worry for prisoners. Individuals in prisons are people with extremely hardcore personalities and are likely to care less about their personal lives. Therefore, they use recycled needles to make tattoos. It has a direct impact on the rate of spread of HIV in prisons. Therefore, tattooing should be discouraged in prisons since it causes an increased rate of the HIV spread.
Rate of HIV Cases in Prisons
Sexual activity among prison inmates is an extraordinarily common phenomenon in the rate of spread of HIV/AIDS in the Unites States prisons and correction centers. A research of the Federal Bureau of prisons in the United States indicates that 30% of the inmates in prisons have engaged in homosexuality in their lives. It is associated with the abuse of drugs, which impairs their judgment. They are not afraid of any consequences of the irresponsible behavior in prisons. The use of drugs has been known to have a psychological effect on the personality. The personality of inmates in prison gets messed up and they no longer view anything as a potential cause of their worry. To them, HIV/AIDS transmission is not a serious issue. Therefore, the rates of HIV transmission among prison inmates who are prone to drug and substance abuse are considerably high (Kronenwetter, 1990). The use of drugs in prisons makes inmates display violent behavior. These inmates are people who are confined in prisons because they have been found to display a socially unacceptable behavior. The use of drugs makes their behavior even worse. In Australia, there was a case of an inmate who injected an officer with a syringe full of blood infected with HIV/AIDS. It is one of the reasons why the rates of HIV are increasing every day in prisons. Violent behavior in prisons such as assaults may also increase the HIV spread among the prison population. Prisoners engage in dangerous fighting that sometimes involves the use of lethal weapons. When prison inmates are under the influence of drugs, they are likely to suffer from cuts or bodily harm in their fights, which may cause the increased rates of HIV infection.
The war against drugs has led to the reduced rate of the cases of the HIV spread and infections since inmates do not use drugs. The fight against drugs rehabilitates inmates who are already affected by the use of drugs. Therefore, there is more morality in prisons, which results in a reduced rate of the HIV spread in prisons. Nowadays, the number of cases of HIV/AIDS has reduced in American correctional centers in the result of the fight against drugs.
Every year, Americans with chronic diseases get jailed with HIV being one of them. About 25% of HIV-infected Americans also get jailed every year. In the year 2006, 16.9% of people living with HIV/AIDS in the Unites States were in correctional centers. The rate of HIV among prisoners in the United States is 5 to 7 times higher among prisoners than among the general population. These rates were high in prisons before the war against drugs had begun in the U.S. society (M²ller, 2007). The war against drugs has led to a decreased rate of HIV-positive people in the United States. The abuse of drugs by civilians in the United States has also been relatively reduced. It has resulted in the reduction of rates of the HIV infection among new inmates who are fresh from the society. The increased rate of HIV/AIDS is prophesied to continue reducing if people involved in fighting the drug abuse are more vigilante in their daily activities.
Bearing in mind that most cases of HIV infections happen before people get to prison, it is necessary that the practitioners working against the spread of HIV/AIDS and drug abuse harness more energy into the general population. There should be increased cases of educating the public about negative effects of the drug abuse. The release of affected prisoners who have already gotten reformed is a good way of initiating the change. The number of inmates who have previously abused drugs, but are now reformed is high in the today’s society. These inmates are highly instrumental. They are used to counsel their fellow inmates against the use of drugs and the negative impact that the drug abuse has on the rates of HIV infection in the United States correctional centers.
Effect of the War against Drugs on HIV Positive Inmates
The war on drugs benefits the HIV positive inmates. Inmates who are HIV positive are offered relevant guidance, which enables them to cope with the situation. The war against is followed by considerable attempts to rehabilitate these inmates. Once these inmates get rehabilitated from the use of hard drugs, they are offered relevant medication on ARV drugs. When they are well-medicated, these individuals get used to talk to fellow inmates, so that they offer guidance against the use of drugs in the United States correctional centers and prisons. HIV positive inmates are also changed through the war against drugs in terms of their way of perceiving life (Maruschak, 2010). Counseling given to them makes them view life differently. They are made to appreciate their current health status and to change their drug abusing habits after learning about the importance of self-acceptance. They are made to treat life positively. When the war against drugs beneficially impacts patients who are already positive, it succeeds in their quest to convince other inmates to leave their drug abusing habits. Therefore, it is unquestionably necessary that the war against drugs is recognized as a key way of positively changing the society.
The legislation made by institutions fighting against drugs in the United States also helps to change the lives of HIV positive inmates. There are laws that help to finance the education of families of HIV positive inmates. These serve as a tremendously fundamental way of saving inmates from the psychological stress that comes with the failure to satisfy the financial needs of their family. Inmates who are HIV positive are made to treat life affectively and offer substantial evidence that drug abuse leads to the increased chances of HIV infection in the United States correctional centers (Norberry, 1991).
Ways of Reducing the Spread of HIV Caused by Drug Abuse in the Future
The increased rates of prisoners who contract HIV/AIDS in America can be reduced considerably, thus creating a society that is drug free and free from HIV/AIDS. The rates of the HIV spread among inmates can be reduced with the provision of condoms in prison centers. It would result in protected sexual activities, hence minimal chances of contracting HIV/AIDS. The WHO should be extremely active in distributing condoms in prisons. It should come with an acceptance that even if a sexual intercourse in illegal in prisons, it still occurs. This activity occurs with the increased irresponsibility since inmates are under the influence of hard drugs. Therefore, the provision of condoms in prisons would work positively to curtail the chances of getting HIV from other prisoners. Since sexual activity is not allowed in prisons, it is thought that the provision of condoms in prisons would promote sexual activity. The reality is that sexual activity still occurs even with the violation of the rules (Norberry, 1991). To save the prison population from the HIV infection that comes with the increased rates of drug abuse, people involved should consider distributing condoms regardless of the violation of the rule concerning sexual intercourse in prisons. It would reduce the rates of HIV infection in prisons. Offering condoms in prisons would save not only prisoners, but prison officers from the high chances of contracting HIV/AIDS.
HIV testing in prisons is also a valuable way of identifying prisoners who take part in risky drug abuse activities. Once tested, it enables the prisoners to know their status. The counseling that comes with the HIV testing of prisoners who contract HIV through drug abuse is extremely beneficial in shaping their behavior change. It results in the reduced rates of HIV infection, hence, in the likelihood of having a HIV free society in correctional centers in the United States. Although the WHO does not allow compulsory HIV testing in prisons, it is still a method used in many prisons. It helps to establish prisoners’ sexual lives and risk inmates expose themselves to when they indulge in drug abuse. Prison inmates who are already positive should get treatment (Braithwaite, 1996). Also, the ones who already have drug addiction habits should be offered rehabilitation services. These services would work positively in reducing the rates of HIV infections in prisons. The war on drugs should seek to rehabilitate more and more individuals since activities of institutions get well financed. The effect of these institutions would result in the reduction of the rates of HIV spread and drug abuse among prisoners. Healthcare services within the should get adequate funding from the government to ensure their positive performance (Braithwaite, 1996).
HIV positive inmates who are also chronic drug abusers should be kept separately from the rest of prisoners. This policy is used in most prison systems around the world. Therefore, people who are tested as HIV positive upon their admission in prisons should be segregated from other inmates who are HIV negative. The use of drugs impairs the judgment of prisoners and prisoners who are HIV positive may intentionally inject their blood to other inmates, so that they share the same fate. This process of locking up HIV positive criminals should come with extreme caution. A lot should be done to regulate their relationships with HIV negative criminals. Whenever the locked up criminals feel stigmatized, they are likely to cause massive chaos in prisons. The prison population in the United States should also be offered with needles and syringes. Offering of these syringes comes with the acceptance of a reality that even though drug abuse is outlawed in prisons, the same occurs with the increased rates of drug abuse in the entire United States society. According to studies revealed in multiple countries, it is evident that HIV infections result from injections during drug use by most inmates. Some inmates exchange their blood to get the blood with a concentration of the drug of their choice. The high risk of HIV infection that comes with this is undisputable. Therefore, reducing these rates would probably come with the provision of needles and syringes in prisons.
Education of prison inmates about the negative effects of drugs is a possible way to curtail the increasing cases of drug abuse in prisons (Hensley, 2002). It could be highly influential in correcting individuals who have not yet been recruited into the habit of drug abuse in prisons. The fact that most prison inmates are already drug abusers even before they get jailed should be taken as a challenge to people fighting against drugs. Moreover, the population of people who get jailed with a HIV positive status is relatively high. Therefore, people concerned with the increased rates of HIV infection and drug abuse in prisons should educate prisoners and show them the value of their lives for themselves, their families, and the state at large. When these people are made to realize their self-value in a series of educational sessions, there will be an expected decrease in the cases of the HIV/AIDS spread and drug abuse in prisons and correctional centers in the United States (Hensley, 2002).
Impact of the War against Drugs on Corrections
The war on drugs has a strong influence on corrections. Drugs impact primarily people’s sexuality and personality. Therefore, prison institutions in the United States have incorporated the war on drugs as a positive measure to change the squalid state of the rates of HIV infections that accompany the war on drugs. The war on drugs and the fast spread of HIV in prisons have led to making polices that favor the reduction in the rates of drug abuse. One of the many impacts has been the introduction of inspections in prisons in the quest of looking for drugs in their areas of residence (Clear, 2010). The war against the use of drugs has also resulted in the increased rate of counseling sessions in prisons. It has made the prisoners change their personalities. As a result, correction has taken a new angle. Before, correction was all about preventing people with socially unacceptable behavior from having contact with other members of the society. Today correction seeks to rehabilitate the personality of the criminal who has been using drugs for a frightfully long time even before the arrest. It also seeks to reduce the rates of the HIV spread in prisons and to offer medication to the already affected prisoners (Clear, 2010).
From the above mentioned facts, it is indisputably vivid and clear that drug abuse is particularly rampant in prisons today. There have been attempted efforts to curtail the cases of drug abuse through campaigns in prisons. rehabilitation plans in prisons, and other correctional institutions. The spread of HIV/AIDS in prisons can also not be overlooked. The fast spread of HIV/AIDS in prisons comes with practices such as exchange of syringes and impaired judgment under the influence of drugs, which makes them practice irresponsible sexual behavior. Prison institutions should consider intensifying their programs to rehabilitate criminals who take part in the abuse of drugs and sexual intercourses. The government should also fund possible plans to reduce the rates of HIV infection and drug abuse in prisons. The prison institution should also recognize the importance of changing the concept of law violating drug use in prisons. They should be more vigilant in reducing the rates of HIV and drug abuse in the United States prisons and correctional centers.