The state of California incarcerates more people than any state in the country. It is also home to the world's largest women's prison, the Central California Women's Facility (CCWF) in Chowchilla, which houses more than 3,800 women. Over the past year, several women with AIDS have died at CCWF, highlighting the lack of medical care for inmates with HIV and AIDS. Prisoners' stories of uncaring, incompetent, and grossly inadequate medical care paint a picture of a medical system in disarray at every level. Women with fullblown AIDS wait weeks to see a doctor, and some have been sent to a pediatrician or a general practitioner with no training or expertise in the treatment of HIV and AIDS. Minimally trained Correctional Officers, renamed Medical Technician Assistants (MTAs), often staff the sick call lines. A lack of gynecological care puts HIV positive women, who are at high risk for cervical cancer and other reproductive health complications, in grave danger.
"Struggle for Compassion: The Fight for Quality Care for Women with AIDS at Central California Women's Facility,"
Yale Journal of Law & Feminism: Vol. 6
, Article 6.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/yjlf/vol6/iss2/6