Dana Harley, 33, has been incarcerated at the Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women since 2002 and has been HIV-positive for six years. She has a 7-year-old son and teaches in the Floral Design Program at the prison.
After years of lobbying and advocacy by the ACLU, AIDS Alabama and members of the state legislature, the Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC) recently agreed to sweeping changes allowing prisoners with HIV to participate more fully in prison life. Since October 12, 2007, prisoners with HIV are now assigned prison jobs, attend religious services with the general population, participate in treatment and education programs, dine with the general population and receive visitors during regular visitation. While this is a huge step forward, prisoners with HIV are still placed in segregated housing and are barred from work release programs which ensure that prisoners can get a job and become productive members of society after they are released.
Click on the letters below to read first hand accounts of the discrimination by the ADOC against the inmates at the Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women in Wetumpka, Alabama.
|Dana's Letter to Allison Neal, staff attorney at the ACLU of Alabama, on how segregation of HIV-positive prisoners threatens privacy. (8/15/2007) PDF|
|Dana's Letter to Allison Neal, staff attorney at the ACLU of Alabama, describing unequal treatment and addressing misconceptions about HIV/AIDS in the prison. (10/23/2007) PDF|
|Dana's Letter to Allison Neal, staff attorney at the ACLU of Alabama, on being refused unrestricted access to educational programs. (9/5/2007) PDF|
|Dana's Letter to Allison Neal, staff attorney at the ACLU of Alabama, on access to adequate health care and medication at Julia Tutwiler Prison. (11/4/2007) PDF|
|Letter to Alabama Governor Riley from the women of Dormitory E describing the discrimination they face at Julia Tutwiler Prison. (9/6/2007) PDF|
|Letter to ADOC Commissioner Allen from the ACLU and allies requesting a meeting to discuss unequal treatment of HIV-postive prisoners at Julia Tutwiler Prison. (9/28/2007) PDF|