A pair of state legislators believe being a correctional worker is a dangerous enough job without the risk of catching a serious disease from an inmate. State Senator Randy Hopper says he was amazed to learn that corrections officers in Wisconsin may request a disease test for an inmate if they get any of their bodily fluids on them, but not until then. “The only procedure for after is for HIV,” says Hopper. “Any other communicable disease, they cannot find out.”
The Fond du Lac Republican says those diseases could be as incidental as head lice or as severe as AIDS, Hepatitis or Mono. Hopper and Assembly Republican Scott Suder of Abbotsford propose giving corrections officers the “right to know” when inmates they oversee have communicable diseases. “We need to do this so we can protect them, because you know inmates can use these communicable diseases as a weapon,” Hopper says. “We need to do everything we can to protect people who we’re asking to protect us.” Hopper and Suder are hoping to attract bipartisan support for the proposal.
AUDIO: Bob Hague reports (:60 MP3) AUDIO: Bob Hague reports (:60 MP3)