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DOJ, SC Reach Settlement Over HIV Inmate Policy

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File photo of a jail cell. (credit: Frank Micelotta/Getty Images)

File photo of a jail cell. (credit: Frank Micelotta/Getty Images)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The federal government has settled a dispute with South Carolina’s prisons over a policy segregating HIV-positive inmates.

The U.S. Justice Department said Tuesday it has reached an agreement with the Department of Corrections over alleged violations of the Americans With Disabilities Act.

The federal government had been preparing a complaint accusing the agency of denying HIV-positive inmates the opportunity to participate in certain programs and activities.

The settlement follows the Corrections Department’s July announcement it would stop segregating HIV-positive inmates. It gave no date for that process to begin. An agency spokesman said Tuesday the department is in the process of training and educating staff.

South Carolina had been one of two states that separated HIV-positive inmates. Last year, a judge struck down a similar policy in Alabama.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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