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Hep C explosion renews the needle exchange push

By johnboy 31 May 2012 55

OK, let us return from the kiddy fantasy land in which we can keep drugs and needles out of prisons and have a look at the real world.

The Greens are pointing out that a further 6 cases of Hepatitis C at the prison is a bit of a good reason to start up a needle exchange.

Those of you off in authoritarian dreamland need to remember that the inmates are going to return to society sooner rather than later and how disease infested do you want them to be?

“The facts from overseas prison NSPs are clear – none of the concerns that have been raised about NSPs in the ACT have occurred, and that includes needle stick injuries or using needles as weapons. We also know that introducing NSPs actually increases the uptake of drug treatment programs and that there has not been an increase in drug use.

“This is not an easy issue but it is one where we need to act. Sending people out into the community from prison with a blood borne virus will make their rehabilitation and preventing reoffending significantly harder. This will ultimately cost the community more all around.

“It’s time to stop burying our heads in the sand, listen to the people calling for an NSP and look to the facts from overseas – all that points to implementing an NSP at the AMC”, Ms Bresnan said.

What’s Your opinion?


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Hep C explosion renews the needle exchange push
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Jim Jones 9:20 am 04 Jun 12

Proboscus said :

You are boring me Jim Jones so this is the last thing I will say on this issue:

If a needle exchange is brought into the gaol and it doesn’t kerb the “explosion” of cases of blood borne viruses – what then? My guess is a long and costly class action where only lawyers and junkies win.

However, if the program is successful, I will eat generous amounts of humble pie, hail the genius of the soft c**ks on RA and will move my family to Texas.

I can’t possibly reason against such watertight logic.

Proboscus 9:14 am 04 Jun 12

You are boring me Jim Jones so this is the last thing I will say on this issue:

If a needle exchange is brought into the gaol and it doesn’t kerb the “explosion” of cases of blood borne viruses – what then? My guess is a long and costly class action where only lawyers and junkies win.

However, if the program is successful, I will eat generous amounts of humble pie, hail the genius of the soft c**ks on RA and will move my family to Texas.

Proboscus 8:45 am 04 Jun 12

You are boring me Jim Jones so this is the last thing I will say on this issue:

If a needle exchange is brought into the gaol, and it doesn’t kerb the “ex

dazzab 9:07 pm 03 Jun 12

Jim Jones said :

In what way doesn’t it make sense?

Enabling someone to continue behaviour which is dangerous and illegal while in prison doesn’t make sense to me.

Jim Jones said :

The drugs are already there (all this ranting and raving about how prison is supposed to be rah rah rah won’t change this – there isn’t a single drug-free jail in the world). Using dirty needles spreads bloodborne diseases (that then spread further into the community). Using clean needles prevents this spread.

As does choosing to take advantage of free health programs to get clean. No one is forcing prisoners to share needles. Have you EVER met a healthy addict regardless of their use of clean needles?

Jim Jones said :

Comparing it to giving children to sex offenders is relentlessly stupid and offensive.

Thanks for making my point for me. Doing anything that enables an addict to continue being an addict in prison is relentlessly stupid and offensive. Not to mention illegal.

Jim Jones said :

The only thing that doesn’t make sense to me are people who’d rather put their head in the sand that acknowledge reality and try to reduce the instances of disease in the community because they think pointless posturing is more important than real world outcomes.

Agreed. Is there actually any research to support the view that reducing disease in prisons reduced disease in the general community. Yes, I know it sounds sensible but is there any research to back it up?

So if I’ve got your view right, we should provide needles in prisons to protect ourselves right? Seems fairly selfish to me. How about we try and do the right thing by the prisoners?

Do you actually know any prisoners? I only know two and a couple of guards. They all told me quite clearly they think it’s a bad idea to provide needle exchanges. I think this conversation assumes prisoners want this. Maybe someone should ask them. If it’s such a no brainer then why would guards and prisoners be against it. Surely they know a bit more about prison life than we do.

Proboscus 7:58 pm 03 Jun 12

buzz819 said :

I’m going to take a stab in the dark and suggest that maybe proboscus works at the AMC.

Not even close. Like most people on this site I’m just your typical, Canberra shiny bum.

Jim Jones 7:10 pm 03 Jun 12

Proboscus said :

Let me answer each of your “facts” in order:

Your Facts 1, 2 & 3: You’re right. It seems impossible to keep drugs out of a gaol but shouldn’t we be assisting junkies (who are usually in custody for crimes related to their drug taking) in rehabilitation instead of promoting a drug taking environment?

Your Fact 4: You said “It’s better to take an action that has positive consequences, rather than do nothing for feat that action would somehow ‘send a message’ about drugs (given that the message is supposedly aimed at people who are already taking drugs in jail and show no signs of stopping – I’d venture to guess that it’s a stupid, pointless message anyway).”

What better action than educating and rehabilitating prisoners to get them off the drugs? You call it stupid and pointless – I say it’s streets ahead of a half-baked needle program which will make working in the gaol unsafe.

Why would you think that this is an either/or situation? How is providing clean needles – so that people who are already injecting drugs can at least do so without spreading disease – incompatible with rehab programs?

And how, precisely, does a needle injecting program make jails unsafe? There are already drugs in the jail, and dirty needles. Somehow introducing clean needles will make the place more dangerous?

Proboscus said :

Your Fact 5: Yes, you are bleating. You and your kind stink of smug, thinking you are solving the problems of the world. You believe you’re helping those who can’t help themselves – yet you mention nothing of the victims of drug addicts (the weak, elderly or disabled) who are often left scarred mentally and physically by your courageous, yet helpless, junkies.

I’d rather ‘bleat’ with some intelligence and logic, than continue to repeat the same tired lines that have done nothing to help the problem, but have been responsible for failure to act and increase the spread of bloodborne disease in the community.

Your appeal to the ‘victims’ is a useless emotional appeal to nothing. Refusing to give people clean needles won’t cure any past crimes – if anything, it prevents people being unwittingly given Hep C or AIDS.

PS – love the fact that you call me a junkie-lover because I’m arguing the rational case. Very cute. I may as well call you someone who loves spreading disease.

Use your head.

Proboscus 6:17 pm 03 Jun 12

Jim Jones said :

The hostility comes from my inability to believe that people won’t bother to address reality and are instead persisting with this fantasy that it’s possible to prevent drugs from getting into jails.

FACT: It’s impossible to stop drugs getting to jails

FACT: There isn’t a single prison in the world that doesn’t have drugs in it.

FACT: Raving about how criminals shouldn’t be taking drugs in prison won’t change this in the slightest.

FACT: It’s better to take an action that has positive consequences, rather than do nothing for feat that action would somehow ‘send a message’ about drugs (given that the message is supposedly aimed at people who are already taking drugs in jail and show no signs of stopping – I’d venture to guess that it’s a stupid, pointless message anyway).

FACT: A needle exchange program is not ‘bleating for self-absorbed criminals’. It’s about reducing instances of blood-borne disease in the entire community.

Let me answer each of your “facts” in order:

Your Facts 1, 2 & 3: You’re right. It seems impossible to keep drugs out of a gaol but shouldn’t we be assisting junkies (who are usually in custody for crimes related to their drug taking) in rehabilitation instead of promoting a drug taking environment?

Your Fact 4: You said “It’s better to take an action that has positive consequences, rather than do nothing for feat that action would somehow ‘send a message’ about drugs (given that the message is supposedly aimed at people who are already taking drugs in jail and show no signs of stopping – I’d venture to guess that it’s a stupid, pointless message anyway).”

What better action than educating and rehabilitating prisoners to get them off the drugs? You call it stupid and pointless – I say it’s streets ahead of a half-baked needle program which will make working in the gaol unsafe.

Your Fact 5: Yes, you are bleating. You and your kind stink of smug, thinking you are solving the problems of the world. You believe you’re helping those who can’t help themselves – yet you mention nothing of the victims of drug addicts (the weak, elderly or disabled) who are often left scarred mentally and physically by your courageous, yet helpless, junkies.

dpm 5:47 pm 03 Jun 12

Jim Jones said :

Let’s have a gander at the very first line of the OP again:

“OK, let us return from the kiddy fantasy land in which we can keep drugs and needles out of prisons and have a look at the real world.”

Ok, fair enough. But then, does that mean that anyone who has a different point to an OP can be totally bagged out, and should have known not to even bother posting their view – on an Internet forum? Is that what you are saying?
If so, perhaps the OP should just post a ‘statement’ that can’t be responded to, if that statement is gospel…? Wouldn’t that make it easier?
We could all just check RA every now and then to hear ‘the good word’! hahahaha! Too funny! 🙂

bigfeet 5:43 pm 03 Jun 12

From the OP “Those of you off in authoritarian dreamland need to remember that the inmates are going to return to society sooner rather than later and how disease infested do you want them to be?”

Bring in the needle exchange program, but balance it out with the following:

Compulsory weekly drug tests – positive finding in any test then an automatic 6 months (with no remission or parole) is added cumulatively to your sentence. Fail another test, get another 6 months.

Prisoners can choose to use drugs if they want, and can do so with relative safety, but there is a consequence.

Or they can choose not to use the drugs, do their time and leave.

Their choice.

The

buzz819 5:41 pm 03 Jun 12

I’m going to take a stab in the dark and suggest that maybe proboscus works at the AMC.

Not giving needles to inmates, at an emotional level, seems the right thing to do, for the following reasons, it’s illegal to do drugs, it’s illegal to do drugs in a correctional centre, it’s illegal to have drugs in a correctional centre – but adversely it is illegal to all the same outside of the centre as well. So logically it is the wrong thing to do.

Not giving inmates needles will protect the guards! Well, no, not really, it will make it more likely that the persons who have blood born diseases, and are drug users, will pass on the diseases to others, the more persons in custody with blood born diseases the more likely it is that a guard, welfare worker or someone else at the prison will also get that blood born disease.

Are there corrupt corrections guards? Of course there is, just because they haven’t been caught doesn’t mean they aren’t there. It’s the same as Police, public servants, defence, taxi drivers etc. If people are engaged in a job, there is a chance that one of those people will either, by their own undertaking, or by being stood over, will become corrupt at some level. Whether it is just turning a blind eye, or by actually shipping the drugs in with them.

I think from an intelligence point of view the needle exchange would be great, find out who is swapping needles, then ramp theirs and their associates cells. Of course this would stop people swapping needles, but you know….

Mysteryman 5:38 pm 03 Jun 12

Proboscus said :

Jim Jones said :

Proboscus said :

Fact: “Free” needles are provided to junkies in the community and blood borne viruses are still being contracted. Providing them in a gaol is stupid and offensive to normal members of society.

Wow. Needle exchange programs haven’t completely eradicated all bloodborne diseases? Who would have thought it?

Dunno where you’re getting this idea that it’s offensive to everyone. Personally, I find the idea of failing to tackle a health issue for no logical reason both stupid and offensive.

Proboscus said :

Fact:

Junkies in the community are well educated in the risks of sharing needles. Prisoners in the AMC are also well educated about the risks of sharing needles and are given access to bleach, disenfectent, etc, to minimise the risks. You can’t put brains in statues – and you can’t force drug addicts not to share needles safely.

Again – if you can’t distinguish between the actual benefits of reducing harm and the impossibility of eliminating the problem entirely, you’re probably not bright enough to be involved in a policy discussion.

Proboscus said :

Fact: ACT Health have lied before about the spread of blood borne viruses within the AMC before. I suspect that this is more of the same.

Lol. ‘I suspect that this is a lie’. That’s great platform for an argument.

Proboscus said :

Fact: You can everything in place to try and prevent junkies from hurting themselves. But like the current Raiders team – they’ll keep finding new ways of disappointing you.

Seriously – now your ignorance is getting dangerous. Read some basic information (or, if you find reading difficult, perhaps talk to someone involved in the field) about bloodborne diseases. It’s not just junkies that get these diseases. When they get them, they spread into the community. Even if you are one of those brainless dickheads who believes that ‘junkies aren’t human and should all die herp derp’, then at very least I’d assume you’d have some interest in the wellbeing of other people in the community.

Or would you continue the posturing with no evidence beyond why a safe needle injecting room should’t be supplied?

What’s with all hostility? I provide a view different to your own and you start calling me names.

We have probably read the same material in regards to this issue – yeah, I can use Google too – and formed differing opinions (mine being formed by thinking of the safety and welfare of hardworking, law abiding, tax-paying employees of the AMC whilst you are bleating for the self absorbed criminals who refuse to help themselves).

It’s what he does – easier than actually having to form a solid argument.

Jim Jones 5:07 pm 03 Jun 12

Let’s have a gander at the very first line of the OP again:

“OK, let us return from the kiddy fantasy land in which we can keep drugs and needles out of prisons and have a look at the real world.”

Jim Jones 5:06 pm 03 Jun 12

The hostility comes from my inability to believe that people won’t bother to address reality and are instead persisting with this fantasy that it’s possible to prevent drugs from getting into jails.

FACT: It’s impossible to stop drugs getting to jails

FACT: There isn’t a single prison in the world that doesn’t have drugs in it.

FACT: Raving about how criminals shouldn’t be taking drugs in prison won’t change this in the slightest.

FACT: It’s better to take an action that has positive consequences, rather than do nothing for feat that action would somehow ‘send a message’ about drugs (given that the message is supposedly aimed at people who are already taking drugs in jail and show no signs of stopping – I’d venture to guess that it’s a stupid, pointless message anyway).

FACT: A needle exchange program is not ‘bleating for self-absorbed criminals’. It’s about reducing instances of blood-borne disease in the entire community.

Proboscus 4:32 pm 03 Jun 12

Jim Jones said :

Proboscus said :

Fact: “Free” needles are provided to junkies in the community and blood borne viruses are still being contracted. Providing them in a gaol is stupid and offensive to normal members of society.

Wow. Needle exchange programs haven’t completely eradicated all bloodborne diseases? Who would have thought it?

Dunno where you’re getting this idea that it’s offensive to everyone. Personally, I find the idea of failing to tackle a health issue for no logical reason both stupid and offensive.

Proboscus said :

Fact:

Junkies in the community are well educated in the risks of sharing needles. Prisoners in the AMC are also well educated about the risks of sharing needles and are given access to bleach, disenfectent, etc, to minimise the risks. You can’t put brains in statues – and you can’t force drug addicts not to share needles safely.

Again – if you can’t distinguish between the actual benefits of reducing harm and the impossibility of eliminating the problem entirely, you’re probably not bright enough to be involved in a policy discussion.

Proboscus said :

Fact: ACT Health have lied before about the spread of blood borne viruses within the AMC before. I suspect that this is more of the same.

Lol. ‘I suspect that this is a lie’. That’s great platform for an argument.

Proboscus said :

Fact: You can everything in place to try and prevent junkies from hurting themselves. But like the current Raiders team – they’ll keep finding new ways of disappointing you.

Seriously – now your ignorance is getting dangerous. Read some basic information (or, if you find reading difficult, perhaps talk to someone involved in the field) about bloodborne diseases. It’s not just junkies that get these diseases. When they get them, they spread into the community. Even if you are one of those brainless dickheads who believes that ‘junkies aren’t human and should all die herp derp’, then at very least I’d assume you’d have some interest in the wellbeing of other people in the community.

Or would you continue the posturing with no evidence beyond why a safe needle injecting room should’t be supplied?

What’s with all hostility? I provide a view different to your own and you start calling me names.

We have probably read the same material in regards to this issue – yeah, I can use Google too – and formed differing opinions (mine being formed by thinking of the safety and welfare of hardworking, law abiding, tax-paying employees of the AMC whilst you are bleating for the self absorbed criminals who refuse to help themselves).

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