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Ala. No Longer Bars HIV Inmates From Work Release

Montgomery, AL – Alabama has shed the distinction of being the only state to bar inmates with HIV from work release programs.

The American Civil Liberties Union has fought to end the practice for decades and on Thursday praised the Alabama Department of Corrections for doing so this week.

Corrections officials say all eligible prisoners with HIV have been approved to participate in the work release program and will be transferred to work release facilities as beds become available.

Margaret Winter, associate director of the ACLU National Prison Project, said the organization is thrilled with the overdue change and that Prisons Commissioner Richard Allen deserves credit for taking a stand.

Work release allows eligible inmates to hold free-world jobs, earn money, wear plain clothes and spend the day without supervision of corrections staff.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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