California lawmakers are approving a plan to hand out condoms in adult prisons, despite the state's ban on having sex behind bars.
The Senate approved the proposal 21-13 Monday, sending it to the Assembly
The bill by Oakland Democratic Assemblyman Rob Bonta aims to cut the spread of HIV, Hepatitis C and other diseases in prisons and communities where felons are paroled.
Sen. Rod Wright, a Los Angeles Democrat, says when inmates contract diseases, the state is on the hook for their medical bills. He says "a condom is cheaper than treating the disease after they get it."
Bonta's proposal would require the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to make condoms initially available in five prisons by 2015 and in all 33 prisons by 2020.