HIV criminalization Within A Social Context Of Social Class With Lessons From USA


There is a social context within which the criminal justice system operates. Scholars draw parallels of HIV criminalization with politics of law and order. It is an encounter in which treatment of culprits, who are mostly minorities in US are still treated much the same way as color bar America of the civil war era and up to 1950-1960. 

HIV criminalization laws are severe and are written in the same static manner and spirit that has persisted in USA. They are coached in a manner ensuring antagonistic law and order abuses intended to punish certain racial groups (Brown 2016). Scholars continue to state that even when dignity affirming laws for all Americans could be enacted there are fears of white backlash which appears in many forms. It could be voter apathy at the voting booth or appeasement of the power-players in the state and other vested interests.This has been shown to be the case from the times of President Johnson and other liberal Democrats who were overly cautious in dealing with the intense racial issues. 

They created a culture  in which it was easier to deny  existence of these concerns and instead they sought to construct a narrative about the issues that was accordingly constructed to appease those in power and was politically expedient. Conservatives are bolder and have cultivated a narrative using majority white sentiment-supporting institutions, they appeal to this group’s demonstrable fears such as the archetypal savage and uncultured over sexualized black male attacking the noble, vulnerable and innocent white female. This cognitive model has been behind the need to prescribe law and order infused rules. There are various examples of this from Alabama, Georgia, California, Arkansas, Ohio to New York.  Ronald Reagan, Richard Nixon and George Wallace, are known as the promoters of the “law and order” model. To them and many others law enforcement was not the problem; it was the solution. According to an AIDS law report, in Pennsylvania, HIV shifted from a public health problem to a criminal justice issue and so many other states followed suit. 


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