The Unconscionable Confinement of Nushawn Williams

Nushawn Williams served twelve years and has remained behind bars for another three, waiting to see if he will be civilly committed for life because, while 19 years old, he had sex while HIV positive.

Nushawn Williams was supposed to be freed from prison three years ago upon completing his sentence, but he remains incarcerated pending a civil commitment trial to determine if his sexual history and HIV status should earn him indefinite civil commitment as a dangerous sex offender. The Buffalo News reported on June 8, 2013, that civil liberties and HIV advocacy groups are troubled by New York's civil confinement policy. As Catherine Hanssens, the Executive Director of The Center for HIV Law & Policy, noted in the article: "This application of the law is informed by grossly outdated misunderstandings of HIV."  

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