United States v. South Carolina Department of Corrections, No. 13-CV-2664 (D.S.C.)

Pleadings and Briefs

In this case, the federal government filed a lawsuit against the South Carolina Department of Corrections (SCDC) and the Director of the SCDC alleging discrimination against inmates living with HIV in violation of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, 42 U.S.C. 12131-12134, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 USC 794.

According to the federal government, SCDC denied inmates with HIV the opportunity to equally participate in and benefit from a variety of services, programs, and activities, and subjects inmates with HIV to segregation and unequal opportunities at correctional rehabilitation. More specifically, inmates with HIV were denied drug treatment, work release, pre-release preparation, hardship transfers, and psychiatric care. SCDC treated inmates with HIV differently with respect to orientation, visitation, and housing. Inmates living with HIV were segregated in "HIV-only" dorms in two of SCDC's highest security facilities, regardless of an inmate's security classification or individual behavior. Additionally, SCDC required inmates at these facilities to wear clothing or identification that advertises their "HIV-only" dorms, thus, publicizing their confidential HIV status to all staff, inmates, visitors, and members of the public. SCDC denied inmates with HIV jobs in the cafeteria and canteen, without justification.

This lawsuit against SCDC was ultimately settled with a consent decree.