Advertisement

Needle and Syringes – AMC

By 27 June 2014 50

jail-gate

When I was Shadow Minister for Corrections and then Minister, I came to believe that the public wanted to send offenders to prison for punishment and not as punishment. It was generally accepted that there would be extra punishments dished out. I didn’t think that way then and I don’t now.

I reckon the deprivation of liberty is the punishment and that whilst we have them inside we need to give the prisoners a reason not to reoffend and not to return.

I noticed the recidivism rate out of Goulburn Jail was up around 65 – 80% dependent on the crime committed in the first place and the dependence on drugs of the offender.

We are still washing through the people who transferred from Goulburn and elsewhere to the Alexander Maconochie Centre (AMC) so any judgment on the programs there in terms of recidivism needs to be qualified. The efficacy of these programs should be judged only for those ACT prisoners for whom incarceration is the first experience. Inmates from the NSW system, completing their sentences are still affected by the draconian system in which they were incarcerated. This is a left over from the past.

One of the things we do reasonably well is address the drug addiction of the “guests” at Hotel AMC. The presence of an independent health centre within its precincts is an effective service as it is not seen as part of the custodial services within the AMC. The therapeutic program is also paying dividends I would think.

I read a piece in the newsletter from the Families and Friends of Drug Law Reform (FFDLR) recently and it told of the tragic death of a young woman in prison. It quoted an ABC 7.30 Report item. This is recommended reading. Check FFDLR website: www.ffdlr.org.au.

The point came out that drugs will always be available in prisons no matter what we do. We are limited to trying to keep them out but addicts are desperate and cunning people. We need to try to get them off their habits and keep them safe while doing it. That’s why a needle and syringe program is badly needed in the AMC.

This program, delivered in the health centre and not by custodial officers, keeps the people safe from blood borne disease such as Hep C, HIV etc. It does not encourage people to take drugs merely keeps them safe and alive while we work with them to get them clean and keep them that way.

What part of trying to keep people safe don’t the opponents of this program get? The general public has access to a needle and syringe program, delivered by Directions ACT. So why are prisoners denied the same access?

In 1788, prisoners were sent to NSW and incarcerated. We did the same until 2004. Came a long way in that 200 years eh? Well not nearly far enough.

I want to restart the conversation and space prevents me from going into too much detail but happy to join in a chat on the matter.

Please login to post your comments
50 Responses to Needle and Syringes – AMC
#1
dungfungus11:12 am, 27 Jun 14

If you believe that “deprivation of liberty” is the punishment then apply that to you further statement that while the general public have access to a needle & syringe programme but prisoners are denied the same access.
I would have thought that “denying access” was the same as “deprivation of liberty”.
If the supply of drugs to prisoners was stopped then there wouldn’t be any need for needles.
I reckon Scott Morrison could sort this problem out.

#2
Mysteryman1:24 pm, 27 Jun 14

“The point came out that drugs will always be available in prisons no matter what we do. We are limited to trying to keep them out but addicts are desperate and cunning people. We need to try to get them off their habits and keep them safe while doing it. That’s why a needle and syringe program is badly needed in the AMC.
This program, delivered in the health centre and not by custodial officers, keeps the people safe from blood borne disease such as Hep C, HIV etc. It does not encourage people to take drugs merely keeps them safe and alive while we work with them to get them clean and keep them that way”

Have you got any evidence of this? I hear this argument regularly from those who think needle exchanges are a good idea, but I’m yet to see any real evidence that supplying needles ultimately results in more inmates being drug-free in the long run. My suspicions are that it makes no difference to the number of users, or the likelihood of being “clean” when released, but I’d be happy to be corrected if the evidence suggested otherwise.

I think the prison system could do with a complete overhaul regarding hiring of officers and ongoing training/checks/auditing of their behaviour. This idea that “drugs will always get it” seems a bit of a cop out. If it’s coming in via guards/officers, then action needs to be taken to make them accountable and punish them. There are many things in this world that will always be, but that doesn’t mean we give up and stop working towards their minimisation.

#3
dungfungus5:00 pm, 27 Jun 14

For those of you who demand “informed comment” (by an academic, no less) about how prisoners can become drug free read this: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/how-to-make-jail-drugfree-20120828-24yim.html

#4
bundah5:21 pm, 27 Jun 14

The point came out that drugs will always be available in prisons no matter what we do.

It is entirely possible to stop illegal drugs getting into prisons. The problem is that the measures authorities would have to introduce to stop this from occurring would be expensive and draconian so it’ll never happen.

Given those circumstances it’s far easier to introduce a needle and syringe program and it’ll please the human rights advocates.

#5
fabforty5:27 pm, 27 Jun 14

The permanent presence of drug sniffer dogs at AMC (for visitors and staff) might go a long way to solving the problem of drugs getting in.

#6
Minz5:52 pm, 27 Jun 14

Do you guys know how common Hepatitis C is among IV drug users who are imprisoned? It’s something like 40%. So if you put those people in an environment where a) they get no support to kick the habit, b) they’re not treated (prisoner treatment rates for hepatitis C are generally ridiculously low) and c) the drug is available but not clean needles, what do you think is going to happen? Pretty straight-forward.

Needle exchanges doesn’t help the users become drug-free, but it does help them avoid catching chronic disease as part of their jail sentence. Further, exchange is much more easily implemented than the ideal, a proper drug addition treatment program, which isn’t going to happen any time soon (and would be much more expensive).

Anyway, drug availability in prison isn’t desirable, but it is reality. It’s also something that seems to be about ubiquitous worldwide, so if you have any revolutionary ideas for preventing it that don’t come down to “guards should do better work”, well, I’m sure the world’s authorities would love to hear them. On the other hand, if you don’t, how about looking at reality-based solutions like the one this article advocates? As Mr Hargreaves says, disease isn’t a part of the deal with imprisonment – it’s meant to be denial of liberty, not denial of health.

And if you’re not interested in the humanity side of it, what about the economics? Hepatitis C can cause major illness and death, which we, as taxpayers, need to pay for regardless of where the person is. Needles are a pretty cheap alternative to paying for a liver transplant down the track, or for extensive medical treatment.

Oh, and finally – HIV rates in the jailed population are much higher than in the general population. Everything I’ve written above also goes for HIV. Preventative health is a LOT better, and cheaper, than reactive treatment.

#7
bigfeet7:19 pm, 27 Jun 14

When I was Shadow Minister for Corrections and then Minister, I came to believe that the public wanted to send offenders to prison for punishment and not as punishment. It was generally accepted that there would be extra punishments dished out. I didn’t think that way then and I don’t now.

And therein lies the problem. Politicians are elected to represent the public.

Most seem to forget that.

#8
astrojax7:45 pm, 27 Jun 14

Mysteryman said :

Have you got any evidence of this? I hear this argument regularly from those who think needle exchanges are a good idea, but I’m yet to see any real evidence that supplying needles ultimately results in more inmates being drug-free in the long run.

the op isn’t arguing that needle exchange programs make the addicts drug-free – only that they limit the potential harm (from blood-borne diseases) while other mechanisms are employed in the cause of reducing drug use. this is a too-common erroneous conflation in opponents to these initiatives. do keep up…

#9
Mysteryman8:53 pm, 27 Jun 14

Minz said :

Do you guys know how common Hepatitis C is among IV drug users who are imprisoned? It’s something like 40%. So if you put those people in an environment where a) they get no support to kick the habit, b) they’re not treated (prisoner treatment rates for hepatitis C are generally ridiculously low) and c) the drug is available but not clean needles, what do you think is going to happen? Pretty straight-forward.

Needle exchanges doesn’t help the users become drug-free, but it does help them avoid catching chronic disease as part of their jail sentence. Further, exchange is much more easily implemented than the ideal, a proper drug addition treatment program, which isn’t going to happen any time soon (and would be much more expensive).

Anyway, drug availability in prison isn’t desirable, but it is reality. It’s also something that seems to be about ubiquitous worldwide, so if you have any revolutionary ideas for preventing it that don’t come down to “guards should do better work”, well, I’m sure the world’s authorities would love to hear them. On the other hand, if you don’t, how about looking at reality-based solutions like the one this article advocates? As Mr Hargreaves says, disease isn’t a part of the deal with imprisonment – it’s meant to be denial of liberty, not denial of health.

And if you’re not interested in the humanity side of it, what about the economics? Hepatitis C can cause major illness and death, which we, as taxpayers, need to pay for regardless of where the person is. Needles are a pretty cheap alternative to paying for a liver transplant down the track, or for extensive medical treatment.

Oh, and finally – HIV rates in the jailed population are much higher than in the general population. Everything I’ve written above also goes for HIV. Preventative health is a LOT better, and cheaper, than reactive treatment.

You managed 5 paragraphs and not a single piece of evidence. What you’ve basically said is “they get diseases because they use drugs. We should help them use drugs better”. What I’m suggesting is ideally we should be getting them off drugs. Yep, it’s probably more expensive my way. But I think it’s a far more desirable outcome than releasing prisoners back into the population with ongoing drug habits. That’s not good for them, or us. Especially when they continue committing crimes because of, or in support of, their habit.

And guards/prison staff should be held accountable as routine practice, and punished to the full extent of the law if they are found to be supplying drugs, regardless of the assertion that “drugs will always be in prisons”. Personally, I find the attitude of “it’s too hard, let’s just help them do it” to be a complete cop out.

#10
Postalgeek9:04 pm, 27 Jun 14

Not to mention the fact that it would be in the interests of the prison guards, the poor sods at the coal face who are spat upon, bitten, bled on, and generally have to contend with all the fluids of the human body, to see minimisation in the spread of communicable diseases at their work place

In fact, I would’ve thought this would partly be an OS H issue. If a guard contracts Hep or HIV from a inmate who wasn’t infected when they arrived, where does the responsibility lie and what’s the liability?

#11
dungfungus9:10 pm, 27 Jun 14

Minz said :

Do you guys know how common Hepatitis C is among IV drug users who are imprisoned? It’s something like 40%. So if you put those people in an environment where a) they get no support to kick the habit, b) they’re not treated (prisoner treatment rates for hepatitis C are generally ridiculously low) and c) the drug is available but not clean needles, what do you think is going to happen? Pretty straight-forward.

Needle exchanges doesn’t help the users become drug-free, but it does help them avoid catching chronic disease as part of their jail sentence. Further, exchange is much more easily implemented than the ideal, a proper drug addition treatment program, which isn’t going to happen any time soon (and would be much more expensive).

Anyway, drug availability in prison isn’t desirable, but it is reality. It’s also something that seems to be about ubiquitous worldwide, so if you have any revolutionary ideas for preventing it that don’t come down to “guards should do better work”, well, I’m sure the world’s authorities would love to hear them. On the other hand, if you don’t, how about looking at reality-based solutions like the one this article advocates? As Mr Hargreaves says, disease isn’t a part of the deal with imprisonment – it’s meant to be denial of liberty, not denial of health.

And if you’re not interested in the humanity side of it, what about the economics? Hepatitis C can cause major illness and death, which we, as taxpayers, need to pay for regardless of where the person is. Needles are a pretty cheap alternative to paying for a liver transplant down the track, or for extensive medical treatment.

Oh, and finally – HIV rates in the jailed population are much higher than in the general population. Everything I’ve written above also goes for HIV. Preventative health is a LOT better, and cheaper, than reactive treatment.

Minz said :

Do you guys know how common Hepatitis C is among IV drug users who are imprisoned? It’s something like 40%. So if you put those people in an environment where a) they get no support to kick the habit, b) they’re not treated (prisoner treatment rates for hepatitis C are generally ridiculously low) and c) the drug is available but not clean needles, what do you think is going to happen? Pretty straight-forward.

Needle exchanges doesn’t help the users become drug-free, but it does help them avoid catching chronic disease as part of their jail sentence. Further, exchange is much more easily implemented than the ideal, a proper drug addition treatment program, which isn’t going to happen any time soon (and would be much more expensive).

Anyway, drug availability in prison isn’t desirable, but it is reality. It’s also something that seems to be about ubiquitous worldwide, so if you have any revolutionary ideas for preventing it that don’t come down to “guards should do better work”, well, I’m sure the world’s authorities would love to hear them. On the other hand, if you don’t, how about looking at reality-based solutions like the one this article advocates? As Mr Hargreaves says, disease isn’t a part of the deal with imprisonment – it’s meant to be denial of liberty, not denial of health.

And if you’re not interested in the humanity side of it, what about the economics? Hepatitis C can cause major illness and death, which we, as taxpayers, need to pay for regardless of where the person is. Needles are a pretty cheap alternative to paying for a liver transplant down the track, or for extensive medical treatment.

Oh, and finally – HIV rates in the jailed population are much higher than in the general population. Everything I’ve written above also goes for HIV. Preventative health is a LOT better, and cheaper, than reactive treatment.

The message I am getting is don’t do crime and don’t take drugs.
How hard is that?

#12
Listers_Cat10:18 pm, 27 Jun 14

IMHO people won’t begin to accept these kind or reforms in our prisons until after we adopt more harm reduction approaches in our communities.

#13
Antagonist10:10 am, 28 Jun 14

Mysteryman said :

You managed 5 paragraphs and not a single piece of evidence.

Evidence from ALL needle exchange programs in Spain, Switzerland and Germany have all reported increased safety for prison staff. It is not hard to find the evidence yourself using Professor Google. As a starting point, I would suggest “Needle and syringe programs: A review of the evidence” published by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing in 2005. I would link to it for you, but am not that good with technology.

Mysteryman said :

What you’ve basically said is “they get diseases because they use drugs. We should help them use drugs better”. What I’m suggesting is ideally we should be getting them off drugs. Yep, it’s probably more expensive my way. But I think it’s a far more desirable outcome than releasing prisoners back into the population with ongoing drug habits. That’s not good for them, or us. Especially when they continue committing crimes because of, or in support of, their habit.

No. It looks like you have completely missed what was said. Advocates are saying a needle exchange program will help reduce the spread of HIV and Hep C and improve safety for AMC staff, which is supported by evidence from trials in other countries. You are focussed on the separate, but related issue of drug supply/addiction in AMC. Your argument is based on so many erroneous underlying assumptions that I do not know where to start.

#14
James_Ryan11:05 am, 28 Jun 14

dungfungus said :

For those of you who demand “informed comment” (by an academic, no less) about how prisoners can become drug free read this: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/how-to-make-jail-drugfree-20120828-24yim.html

Mr Williams was rightfully lambasted for the ill-informed opinion you have linked, and hasn’t ventured near the issue since.

#15
James_Ryan11:09 am, 28 Jun 14

Mysteryman said :

You managed 5 paragraphs and not a single piece of evidence.

Spanish authorities have recently evaluated that nation’s 10-year-old prison needle exchange program and found the prevalence of HIV infection fell from 21 per cent in 1999 to 8.5 per cent in 2009, while hepatitis C infection fell from 40 per cent to 26.1 per cent.

See more at: http://www.adf.org.au/policy-advocacy/policytalk-june-2012#sthash.kKP9XbHe.dpuf

#16
gazket1:22 pm, 28 Jun 14

firstly they are not “Guests” they are prisoners in jail. simply stop being a no backbone wimp get off the needle and you won’t go to prison from feeding your habit.

how does supplying needles to prisoners give a reason not to re offend and not to return ? As when they are released they still have to commit crime because they have a injecting drug habit to feed which the government have supported.

#17
Minz6:19 pm, 28 Jun 14

Minz said :

What you’ve basically said is “they get diseases because they use drugs. We should help them use drugs better”. What I’m suggesting is ideally we should be getting them off drugs. Yep, it’s probably more expensive my way. But I think it’s a far more desirable outcome than releasing prisoners back into the population with ongoing drug habits. That’s not good for them, or us. Especially when they continue committing crimes because of, or in support of, their habit.

And guards/prison staff should be held accountable as routine practice, and punished to the full extent of the law if they are found to be supplying drugs, regardless of the assertion that “drugs will always be in prisons”. Personally, I find the attitude of “it’s too hard, let’s just help them do it” to be a complete cop out.

No, I’m saying that they’re likely to use drugs anyway, so harm minimisation makes sense in a whole society context.

Want evidence? Try this for a start – covers the issues nicely: http://static.squarespace.com/static/50ff0804e4b007d5a9abe0a5/t/51dca252e4b02bbec325e7cf/1373413970161/Prisons%20Consensus%20Statement%20July%202011.pdf

I totally agree that getting people off drugs would be preferable. Highly preferable. But getting people off drugs is not an easy task and requires significant investment and intense pre-and post-care (there’s a wealth of evidence for this; start with with http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/principles-drug-addiction-treatment-research-based-guide-third-edition and dive on into more serious literature if you want). IMO, putting this effort in is unlikely to be politically palatable in the context of prisoners. If this is the case, evidence-based harm minimisation programs should be instituted as a second choice IMO. Needle exchange is one such.

I also agree that no drugs in prisons would be ideal. However, again, doesn’t seem to be realistic in the Australian prison system. Sure, do more to try to stop it, but in the meantime, how about some harm reduction?

#18
dungfungus7:11 pm, 28 Jun 14

James_Ryan said :

dungfungus said :

For those of you who demand “informed comment” (by an academic, no less) about how prisoners can become drug free read this: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/how-to-make-jail-drugfree-20120828-24yim.html

Mr Williams was rightfully lambasted for the ill-informed opinion you have linked, and hasn’t ventured near the issue since.

Perhaps you can provide some links to the “lambasting”.
It’s hard to please a lot of people on this blog. When they plead for informed comment and it is offered then someone else says it is ill-informed.
It would appear from your comments on this thread that you are some sort of a crusader for clean needles so I can understand your criticism of anyone else’s opinion that opposes yours.

#19
ladylethal9:55 pm, 30 Jun 14

There’s no need for a needle program if there’s no drugs. Throwing your hands up in the air and saying well it’s just too hard to keep drugs out of our prisons, is pathetic. You are responsible for their welfare and that means stopping the drugs from getting to the in the first place!

#20
James_Ryan10:59 pm, 30 Jun 14

dungfungus said :

James_Ryan said :

dungfungus said :

For those of you who demand “informed comment” (by an academic, no less) about how prisoners can become drug free read this: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/how-to-make-jail-drugfree-20120828-24yim.html

Mr Williams was rightfully lambasted for the ill-informed opinion you have linked, and hasn’t ventured near the issue since.

Perhaps you can provide some links to the “lambasting”.
It’s hard to please a lot of people on this blog. When they plead for informed comment and it is offered then someone else says it is ill-informed.
It would appear from your comments on this thread that you are some sort of a crusader for clean needles so I can understand your criticism of anyone else’s opinion that opposes yours.

“An academic, no less” writing opinions well outside his area of expertise does open himself up somewhat when he ignores the evidence and leads with his backside.

The pasting Clive Williams received was published in the CT letters to the editor. The authors included recognised experts in blood borne virus prevention – something Mr Williams clearly is not.

#21
Mysteryman8:52 am, 01 Jul 14

James_Ryan said :

dungfungus said :

James_Ryan said :

dungfungus said :

For those of you who demand “informed comment” (by an academic, no less) about how prisoners can become drug free read this: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/how-to-make-jail-drugfree-20120828-24yim.html

Mr Williams was rightfully lambasted for the ill-informed opinion you have linked, and hasn’t ventured near the issue since.

Perhaps you can provide some links to the “lambasting”.
It’s hard to please a lot of people on this blog. When they plead for informed comment and it is offered then someone else says it is ill-informed.
It would appear from your comments on this thread that you are some sort of a crusader for clean needles so I can understand your criticism of anyone else’s opinion that opposes yours.

“An academic, no less” writing opinions well outside his area of expertise does open himself up somewhat when he ignores the evidence and leads with his backside..

It worked for Richard Dawkins. I don’t see why it’s a problem here.

#22
dungfungus9:13 am, 01 Jul 14

James_Ryan said :

dungfungus said :

James_Ryan said :

dungfungus said :

For those of you who demand “informed comment” (by an academic, no less) about how prisoners can become drug free read this: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/how-to-make-jail-drugfree-20120828-24yim.html

Mr Williams was rightfully lambasted for the ill-informed opinion you have linked, and hasn’t ventured near the issue since.

Perhaps you can provide some links to the “lambasting”.
It’s hard to please a lot of people on this blog. When they plead for informed comment and it is offered then someone else says it is ill-informed.
It would appear from your comments on this thread that you are some sort of a crusader for clean needles so I can understand your criticism of anyone else’s opinion that opposes yours.

“An academic, no less” writing opinions well outside his area of expertise does open himself up somewhat when he ignores the evidence and leads with his backside.

The pasting Clive Williams received was published in the CT letters to the editor. The authors included recognised experts in blood borne virus prevention – something Mr Williams clearly is not.

Would you be by any chance the same James Ryan referred to in this report?:
http://www.hansard.act.gov.au/hansard/2003/comms/health12.pdf

#23
dungfungus9:49 am, 01 Jul 14

Mysteryman said :

James_Ryan said :

dungfungus said :

James_Ryan said :

dungfungus said :

For those of you who demand “informed comment” (by an academic, no less) about how prisoners can become drug free read this: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/how-to-make-jail-drugfree-20120828-24yim.html

Mr Williams was rightfully lambasted for the ill-informed opinion you have linked, and hasn’t ventured near the issue since.

Perhaps you can provide some links to the “lambasting”.
It’s hard to please a lot of people on this blog. When they plead for informed comment and it is offered then someone else says it is ill-informed.
It would appear from your comments on this thread that you are some sort of a crusader for clean needles so I can understand your criticism of anyone else’s opinion that opposes yours.

“An academic, no less” writing opinions well outside his area of expertise does open himself up somewhat when he ignores the evidence and leads with his backside..

It worked for Richard Dawkins. I don’t see why it’s a problem here.

Spot on!
And since when did any opinion in the CT Letters to the Editor carry any weight?
All there is these days is an organised hate campaign from Labor supporters still in denial about the last Federal election result.

#24
James_Ryan10:23 am, 01 Jul 14

dungfungus said :

Mysteryman said :

James_Ryan said :

dungfungus said :

James_Ryan said :

dungfungus said :

For those of you who demand “informed comment” (by an academic, no less) about how prisoners can become drug free read this: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/how-to-make-jail-drugfree-20120828-24yim.html

Mr Williams was rightfully lambasted for the ill-informed opinion you have linked, and hasn’t ventured near the issue since.

Perhaps you can provide some links to the “lambasting”.
It’s hard to please a lot of people on this blog. When they plead for informed comment and it is offered then someone else says it is ill-informed.
It would appear from your comments on this thread that you are some sort of a crusader for clean needles so I can understand your criticism of anyone else’s opinion that opposes yours.

“An academic, no less” writing opinions well outside his area of expertise does open himself up somewhat when he ignores the evidence and leads with his backside..

It worked for Richard Dawkins. I don’t see why it’s a problem here.

And since when did any opinion in the CT Letters to the Editor carry any weight?

When they’re written by experts.

#25
dungfungus2:32 pm, 01 Jul 14

James_Ryan said :

dungfungus said :

Mysteryman said :

James_Ryan said :

dungfungus said :

James_Ryan said :

dungfungus said :

For those of you who demand “informed comment” (by an academic, no less) about how prisoners can become drug free read this: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/how-to-make-jail-drugfree-20120828-24yim.html

Mr Williams was rightfully lambasted for the ill-informed opinion you have linked, and hasn’t ventured near the issue since.

Perhaps you can provide some links to the “lambasting”.
It’s hard to please a lot of people on this blog. When they plead for informed comment and it is offered then someone else says it is ill-informed.
It would appear from your comments on this thread that you are some sort of a crusader for clean needles so I can understand your criticism of anyone else’s opinion that opposes yours.

“An academic, no less” writing opinions well outside his area of expertise does open himself up somewhat when he ignores the evidence and leads with his backside..

It worked for Richard Dawkins. I don’t see why it’s a problem here.

And since when did any opinion in the CT Letters to the Editor carry any weight?

When they’re written by experts.

An expert being defined as “a person with more data than judgment”.

#26
John Hargreaves Ex M2:30 pm, 03 Jul 14

dungfungus said :

Mysteryman said :

James_Ryan said :

dungfungus said :

James_Ryan said :

dungfungus said :

For those of you who demand “informed comment” (by an academic, no less) about how prisoners can become drug free read this: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/how-to-make-jail-drugfree-20120828-24yim.html

Mr Williams was rightfully lambasted for the ill-informed opinion you have linked, and hasn’t ventured near the issue since.

Perhaps you can provide some links to the “lambasting”.
It’s hard to please a lot of people on this blog. When they plead for informed comment and it is offered then someone else says it is ill-informed.
It would appear from your comments on this thread that you are some sort of a crusader for clean needles so I can understand your criticism of anyone else’s opinion that opposes yours.

“An academic, no less” writing opinions well outside his area of expertise does open himself up somewhat when he ignores the evidence and leads with his backside..

It worked for Richard Dawkins. I don’t see why it’s a problem here.

Spot on!
And since when did any opinion in the CT Letters to the Editor carry any weight?
All there is these days is an organised hate campaign from Labor supporters still in denial about the last Federal election result.

Not quite right. H Ronald doesn’t qualify as a Labor letter writer. When I was in the Assembly, I did a check on the demographics of the Letter writers to the CT. in 2008, 85% of those writers were retired, male and over 70 years old. I don’t see much change lately….

#27
HardBallGets3:58 pm, 03 Jul 14

Quote=OP
“I want to restart the conversation and space prevents me from going into too much detail but happy to join in a chat on the matter.”

Since you offered to chat in your original post Mr Hargreaves, I’m surprised you haven’t bothered responding to any subsequent contributions on topic.

What is it you’re hoping to chat about? I’m happy to chat with you.

#28
Masquara6:01 pm, 03 Jul 14

John Hargreaves Ex MLA said :

Not quite right. H Ronald doesn’t qualify as a Labor letter writer. When I was in the Assembly, I did a check on the demographics of the Letter writers to the CT. in 2008, 85% of those writers were retired, male and over 70 years old. I don’t see much change lately….

John Hargreaves, to conduct your “check” you must have used information you had gathered through politicians’ exemption from privacy legislation. How is that acceptable? And what have you done with all the “profiling” information you acquired as a politician? Do you still have it? Now that you have left the LA, how about opening up to the Riotact about just how far you went – and other politicians go – in abusing this little loophole?

#29
dungfungus6:09 pm, 03 Jul 14

John Hargreaves Ex MLA said :

dungfungus said :

Mysteryman said :

James_Ryan said :

dungfungus said :

James_Ryan said :

dungfungus said :

For those of you who demand “informed comment” (by an academic, no less) about how prisoners can become drug free read this: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/how-to-make-jail-drugfree-20120828-24yim.html

Mr Williams was rightfully lambasted for the ill-informed opinion you have linked, and hasn’t ventured near the issue since.

Perhaps you can provide some links to the “lambasting”.
It’s hard to please a lot of people on this blog. When they plead for informed comment and it is offered then someone else says it is ill-informed.
It would appear from your comments on this thread that you are some sort of a crusader for clean needles so I can understand your criticism of anyone else’s opinion that opposes yours.

“An academic, no less” writing opinions well outside his area of expertise does open himself up somewhat when he ignores the evidence and leads with his backside..

It worked for Richard Dawkins. I don’t see why it’s a problem here.

Spot on!
And since when did any opinion in the CT Letters to the Editor carry any weight?
All there is these days is an organised hate campaign from Labor supporters still in denial about the last Federal election result.

Not quite right. H Ronald doesn’t qualify as a Labor letter writer. When I was in the Assembly, I did a check on the demographics of the Letter writers to the CT. in 2008, 85% of those writers were retired, male and over 70 years old. I don’t see much change lately….

I concede I was careless in my expression Johno. H Ronald is not of course a Labor supporter.
Your further comment about checking the demographics of CT letter writers is a bit disturbing.
There is only one place you could have obtained the sort of information you have revealed and that is from the electoral roll supplied exclusively to a registered political party under paragraph 91 (4A) (a) or (b) of The Electoral Act. This roll contains such information as gender, date of birth, salutations and occupations of electors as well as addresses. It is not provided for the sort of research that you have cited and you may have breached the privacy of those you checked the names of.
It is more disturbing that you admit to continuing this practice (“I don’t see much change lately”). This indicates you have ongoing access to the information on the aforementioned roll.
I hope for your sake no one from the Privacy Commissioner’s Office reads this thread.

#30
John Hargreaves Ex M10:32 am, 04 Jul 14

Masquara said :

John Hargreaves Ex MLA said :

Not quite right. H Ronald doesn’t qualify as a Labor letter writer. When I was in the Assembly, I did a check on the demographics of the Letter writers to the CT. in 2008, 85% of those writers were retired, male and over 70 years old. I don’t see much change lately….

John Hargreaves, to conduct your “check” you must have used information you had gathered through politicians’ exemption from privacy legislation. How is that acceptable? And what have you done with all the “profiling” information you acquired as a politician? Do you still have it? Now that you have left the LA, how about opening up to the Riotact about just how far you went – and other politicians go – in abusing this little loophole?

Happy to let you know what info I took with me when I left. Apart from my election papers over the years and some libellous letters I got, I took nothing with me other than my copies of Hansard and personal effects.

Every elected representative in the land has access to the Electoral Roll and information contained on it, including the addresses of constituents. it also allowed me to see what age a constituent was to allow me to place the constituents into demographic groups. it was silly to think that I would send new information on child care to a person living in a nursing home, wouldn’t it.

But to answer you insinuation, I don’t have any more access to other people’s information than you do. I hope.

Follow
Follow The RiotACT
Get Premium Membership
Advertisement

Images of Canberra

Advertisement
Sponsors
RiotACT Proudly Supports
Advertisement
Copyright © 2014 Riot ACT Holdings Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.