Condoms could eventually be distributed to California prison inmates under a bill that moved forward in the state Senate on Tuesday, setting the stage for potential pushback from Governor Jerry Brown, who vetoed a similar measure last fall.
The bill, which has already passed the state Assembly, would direct state officials to develop a five-year plan to hand out condoms in the state prison system. The initiative would not change current law that criminalizes sex acts between inmates regardless of consent.
“We are not only advocating for the improved health of prisoners,” said Oakland Democratic Assemblyman Rob Bonta, who introduced the bill. “But we are also protecting communities across the state that could potentially be harmed by communicable diseases when former prisoners relocate to neighborhoods upon re-entry.”
The measure passed the Senate Public Safety Committee with a 5-1 vote and will next be heard by the Senate Appropriations Committee.