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The Social Impact of Aids in the United States
about infection control between mother and child (New York State Department of Health/New York AIDS Institute, 1989).
The inmates who flow through the correctional institutions of the city and the state are not drawn equally from every community in the city. The city is itself residentially segregated along ethnic lines, and although data do not exist on the residential distribution of those who enter the criminal justice system, it is not unreasonable to argue, given their ethnic distribution, that they are drawn from the areas that house the poor of the city. Currently, on any given day, 23 percent of all African American men in New York State aged 20 to 29 are in some form of control by criminal justice authorities—prison, jail, probation, or parole (see Table 9-3). Of those young men, 48 percent are in jail or prison. It is important to note that these are lower-bound numbers because they represent the count on a single day. Across an entire year, the proportions are somewhat higher. The proportion under the control of the criminal justice system is smaller for Hispanic men of the same age (14 percent), but the proportion of those in custody who are in prison or jail is the same—48 percent. In contrast, only 3 percent of whites in the same age range are in custody of any kind (Gangi and Murphy, 1990). More than 80 percent of all of the Department of Corrections Services prisoners in New York State are African American or Hispanic. The proportions in the jails of the city of New York are similar.
HIV/AIDS makes a special contribution to the bleak situation of many of these men and the women. The number of minority men in New York City who will die from HIV/AIDS (largely in their 30s and early 40s) will be substantial; estimates range between 50,000 and 100,000 (although the actual number will never be known precisely). Many of these men will pass through the criminal justice system, challenging its ability and willingness to deal humanely with HIV-infected inmates. The system's success in meeting that challenge will be felt not only by the inmates, but by the poor and minority communities from which they come and to which they may return.
Currently, 41 states plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands are under a court order or consent decree to improve conditions of confinement or limit the prison populations either for their entire prison systems or for specific institutions (Cade, 1990). Neither the New York City nor the New York State correctional systems are under such court orders or consent decrees, but both have had to expand rapidly to accommodate the rapid rise in prisoners over the past decades. In 1973, New York State had 12,500 persons in the state prison system; by September 1990, that number was more than 54,000 (Gangi and Murphy, 1990). In December 1991 it was reported that this number had reached 57,000 and that the state would add from 3,000 to 6,000 new beds through double bunking in the medium-security prisons (Raab, 1991). Similarly, the number