Alabama HIV prison lawsuit

AP Photo/Jamie Martin

A federal judge has approved a settlement to end the segregation of HIV-positive inmates in Alabama prisons.

U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson issued an opinion Monday saying the agreement isn't perfect but can take effect.

Female inmates already are living with other prisoners at the state's lone women's prison, and male inmates will be integrated into the general prison population next year.

A tentative settlement of a federal lawsuit calls for the Alabama prison system to pay $1.3 million to American Civil Liberties Union attorneys who sued the state over its policy of segregating prisoners with HIV and AIDS.

All other states except South Carolina have abandoned similar policies. South Carolina plans to move HIV-positive inmates into the main prison population by Jan. 1.

AP Photo/Jamie Martin

A judge is set to rule on the fairness of a settlement ending the segregation of HIV-infected inmates in Alabama prisons.

U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson held a hearing on the agreement Thursday at Limestone prison near Harvest. Another hearing was held earlier this week at the state women's prison in Wetumpka.

An American Civil Liberties Union attorney representing prisoners, Margaret Winter, quotes Thompson as saying he will release a decision by midnight Monday.

Credit AP Photo/Jamie MartinAn inmate at Tutwiler Prison for Women has testified about life in prison under the Alabama prison system's policy of keeping HIV-positive inmates segregated from other inmates.Edit | Remove

An inmate at Tutwiler Prison for Women has testified about life in prison under the Alabama prison system's policy of keeping HIV-positive inmates segregated from other inmates.

Ran Hu / University of Michigan School of Social Work

Last week, the Alabama Department of Corrections announced the end of its practice of segregating prisoners with HIV. This came as a result of a successful lawsuit filed by the ACLU. Former inmate Louis Henderson is HIV positive and was one of the lead plaintiffs in the lawsuit. Alabama Public Radio's Ryan Vasquez recently spoke with Henderson, and asked about his experience in the Alabama prison system and what the end of the segregation policy means to him.

AP Photo/Jamie Martin

State officials say they'll no longer segregate HIV-positive prison inmates from the general population.

   Department of Corrections Commissioner Kim Thomas told AL.com (http://bit.ly/13gjOlc) Wednesday that the department has stopped segregating inmates at the Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women and plans to do the same with male inmates in 2014.

AP Photo/Jamie Martin

South Carolina's recent decision to end the segregation of HIV-positive prison inmates leaves Alabama as the last state to continue the practice.

   A federal judge in 2012 ordered the Alabama Department of Corrections to end segregating HIV-positive inmates from the general prison population after a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union.

   WTVM-TV (http://bit.ly/14RHbkB) reports corrections officials say the case is still in mediation and they're working with the ACLU to resolve the matter.

It's up to a federal judge in Montgomery to decide if the Alabama Department of Corrections can continue to isolate inmates who have tested positive for HIV even though the virus is no longer considered a death sentence.

Last month, U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson heard arguments made during the month-long trial challenging Alabama's decades-old policy of mostly separating HIV-positive inmates from other prisoners.

A lawsuit challenging Alabama's segregation of inmates with HIV is going to trial.

U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson issued an order Wednesday rejecting the state prison system's request to dismiss the suit on Wednesday. That means the trial will begin Sept. 17 in Montgomery.

Prison Commissioner Kim Thomas said the state won a similar case in 1999 and is prepared for trial on this one.