Criminalization and Mass Imprisonment

What's the issue?

The “War on Drugs,” “Stop and frisk,” and the singling out of transgender women for sex worker arrests are example of the process of criminalization: Common behaviors are transformed into crimes, and individuals are labeled as criminals, with huge numbers targeted for surveillance, prosecution, sentencing and detention.

HIV criminalization laws in 32 states that make HIV exposure a crime plus relentless HIV stigma have fueled the prosecution and imprisonment of hundreds of people with HIV in the US, even in states without an “HIV-specific” law.

Why we fight

The fundamental forces driving criminalization and mass imprisonment are the same as those that fuel the HIV/AIDS epidemic -- like economic inequity, racism, homophobia and gender-based discrimination.

HIV criminalization practices spread misinformation, encourage HIV discrimination and discourage HIV testing. And the destructive economic and social effects of CMI on individuals, families and communities further contribute to the persistence of the AIDS epidemic in the US.

What's our network doing about it?

HIV PJA fights the stigmatizing and biased criminalization of people with HIV, people of color, people in poverty, drug users, immigrants, sex workers, and LGBTQ people.

We work closely with the Center for HIV Law and Policy, Drug Policy Alliance, Positive Justice Project (PJP), the SERO Project and others on these issues.

We mobilize the HIV/AIDS community to join efforts to tear down systems of criminalization and mass imprisonment, using community education, media efforts, policy work and direct action/protest.

Oct. 11 Webinar: Introducing the sourcebook on US state and federal HIV criminal law and practice

Oct. 11 Webinar: Introducing the sourcebook on US state and federal HIV criminal law and practice

| October 3, 2017 | 0 Comments

Introducing the sourcebook on US state and federal HIV criminal law and practice: Pathways to reform and state perspectives on reform strategy Webinar: Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2 – 3:15 p.m. ET Click here to register! Join The Center for HIV Law and Policy, the Georgia Coalition to End HIV Criminalization, HIV Modernization Movement Indiana (HMM), and HIV Prevention Justice […]

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Attending USCA? Check out these suggested workshops!

Attending USCA? Check out these suggested workshops!

| August 30, 2017 | 0 Comments

United States Conference on AIDS (USCA) is next week! More than 3,000 HIV community members from across the county will be landing in our nation’s capital. USCA is an opportunity for us to come together, learn from one another, and strategize how we can take action to advance an HIV prevention justice agenda including fighting for […]

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Donate to Michael Johnson’s defense fund

Donate to Michael Johnson’s defense fund

| February 21, 2017 | 0 Comments

Michael L. Johnson is sitting in prison under a discriminatory HIV Criminalization law. With your help, he could be free in a matter of months. To make sure that Michael has expert legal support when his case is again heard in court, we must raise $20,000. This legal defense fund will be used to hire […]

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Watch the webinar – Progress towards HIV justice: Community update on Michael L. Johnson’s case

Watch the webinar – Progress towards HIV justice: Community update on Michael L. Johnson’s case

| January 6, 2017 | 0 Comments

This webinar provides crucial legal and advocacy updates on Michael L. Johnson’s HIV criminalization case in Missouri and presents a number of new opportunities for action for Michael’s liberation. Thank you to our moderator Charles Stephens and presenter Mayo Scheiber. Also, thank you to all attendees for submitting questions. Watch the webinar! Resources from the webinar: […]

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Watch the webinar – HIV Is Not a Crime: Immigration and HIV decriminalization

Watch the webinar – HIV Is Not a Crime: Immigration and HIV decriminalization

| September 12, 2016 | 0 Comments

Download the slides! Last week, the SERO Project and HIV PJA collaborated on the last in a HIV Is Not a Crime 3-part webinar series. This webinar discussed the intersectional issues of being an immigrant living with HIV and HIV criminalization. We also discussed the synergy of the movement to end deportations and the movement to end […]

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