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The Champion

June 2016 , Page 09 

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Inside NACDL: NACDL’s Relentless Efforts to End Overcriminalization

By Norman L. Reimer

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NACDL’s determination to rein in overcriminalization is steadfast and multifaceted.1 The Association seizes every opportunity to shine a light on the many facets of overcriminalization across the full spectrum of its advocacy. These efforts reached new heights during a span of five days in late May.

Attacking HIV Overcriminalization

On May 21, 2016, NACDL’s Board of Directors addressed a manifestation of overcriminalization that originated during an era of national hysteria: the widespread enactment of criminal statutes that allow prosecutions and enhanced penalties for allegations of nondisclosure, exposure and potential transmission of the HIV virus. Prosecutions have occurred in at least 39 states under HIV-specific criminal laws or general criminal laws that are misapplied to prosecute those who are HIV positive. These laws and prosecutions are manifestly unjust for myriad reasons. First, HIV prosecutions are status offenses that focus on knowledge of status as a key

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