Yeah, it's not a pleasant subject. The federal government is finally taking some legislative action to curtail the widespread epidemic of rape in the American prison system.

The Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003, which drew bipartisan support and was passed unanimously by Congress yesterday, establishes a system of grants and reforms that will cost $60 million a year. The centerpiece is an annual survey by the U.S. Department of Justice that will be the most sweeping study ever made of sexual assault in prisons, congressional sponsors and criminal justice experts said.

"It's been a long, strange battle, but I think everyone has come to understand that a prison sentence in the United States should not include rape as added punishment," said Rep. Frank R. Wolf, (R-Va.), a House co-sponsor of the bill, along with Rep. Robert C. "Bobby" Scott (D-Va.).

Well, it's a start. The reason I'm posting about this, though, is because Canada has a different take on the issue.

Mackintosh said yesterday the province will consider purchasing flavoured condoms for prisoners some time in the future after first consulting with health officials. The majority of the contraceptives, he argued, would be given to inmates when they are released.

"If there's clear and convincing evidence this type of condom is an effective part of an AIDS strategy, I'd be ill advised to overrule the health experts and jeopardize the health of Manitobans," Mackintosh told The Sun. "The department is going to work with public health to look at this further."

Nice spin, but any way you look at it, some of the fruity flaves would still be distributed to cons behind bars.

Maybe I'm missing something, who knows. Are convicted murderers allows conjugal visits in Canada? Maybe the condoms are for that purpose, but if that's the case it seems like the woman coming to visit could simply bring her own condoms. The only reason to hand out condoms in jail is to facilitate prison rape.

(Via Best of the Web.)



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