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Injecting hope into our prisons….WHAT THE ?

Proboscus 7 January 2011 51

Dear Rioters,

I have been a little overwhelmed by the massive push for syringes to be available inside our Human Rights Prison – the Hume Hilton.  I keep seeing in the media  that it’s going to happen – Stanhope, Corbell, Gallagher, Bresnan and even the Editor of the Canberra Times are for it – and they all have a very loud voice in this issue.  But what about the guards who work there – don’t they have a voice too?

I have a friend who works at the Hilton and he tells me that EVERYONE is against this proposed syringe program, buttheir hands are tied and they can’t go to the media to have their say.  He tells me that even their union – the CPSU – are adopting a wait and see approach before they start even consider putting their case forward for not having syringes in the place. 


Speaking over a few beers last Sunday afternoon I played Devils Advocate with my mate and spoke about how a syringe program would stop all the horible diseases from spreading and making the world a better place – the same argument that the do-gooders are using.  He told me that all the guests at the Hilton are tested for diseases BEFORE they mix with the other guests and that NO-ONE has received any kind of blood-borne disease within the walls of the Hilton (the one case that was recorded, the one that all the advocates are hanging their hats on, was a false reading).

My mate then asked me a couple of questions.  He asked me “Who would be responsible if one of our finest died from a drug overdose inside the Hilton – Stanhope?  No.  Corbell?  No.  Gallagher?  No.  Maybe Bresnan?  No.” 

“The responsibility falls squarely on the shoulders of the guards.   Can you believe that?  The guards will be responsible for a junkie taking an ILLEGAL substance with an implement issued by the Government that was not wanted by the guards in the first place!!!” 


My mate then asked me how guests, or their visitors, could be charged for bringing illicit and illegal substances into the Hilton when the Government were providing drug taking implements to the guests?  Answer – You won’t be able to charge them or enforce any law.  


Anyway, I’m interested in what the rest of you have to say in regards to this issue.

What’s Your opinion?

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51 Responses to
Injecting hope into our prisons….WHAT THE ?
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Gerry-Built 10:26 pm 07 Jan 11

(in response to OP) gee… I wonder why they are finding it hard to recruit and retain guards?

fgzk 10:00 pm 07 Jan 11

Tooks “On another note, if I was a guard there I wouldn’t feel comfortable knowing one of the many Hep C (and worse) infected prisoners could use a freely available needle as a weapon against me. Of course, supporters of the proposed program will never have to worry about that, will they?”

No. They worry about trying to stem the spread of infection through the whole community. This is one fight/issue.

I think you might be taking a liberty with the use of the words “freely available”. I believe knives are already freely available on the “Tooks scale of free”. Do the inmates have access to scissors, ball point pens, tooth brushes and screw drivers. They all make good weapons? How is access to these thing controlled? What”s the present weapon of choice in AMC.

fgzk 9:18 pm 07 Jan 11

Proboscus “now they have to get permission from a higher ranking supervisor I’m told are too scared to conduct said searches.”
Oh please “too scared to conduct searches”. What are they afraid of? Is it treating people as humans that they are scared of?

Proboscus “Where are these syringes coming from?”
You really need to do some research. Its a good start knowing “where and why”.

Illicit drug use bring a lot of complex issues. At the very least its good to see organisations openly discussing the issues involved and seeking new ways to deal with them.

Swaggie 9:17 pm 07 Jan 11

Dead set against it mate and I suspect the silent majority are but as usual a vocal majority will keep whittering on, feeding their soundbites to an acquiescent media until our ‘leaders’ go with what they think is popular opinion.

But ask your mate – how do drugs get into the Prison anyway?

Affirmative Action Man 8:52 pm 07 Jan 11

To Proboscus. Its not a matter of encouraging drug use. Its just a matter of dealing with the facts. If you can keep drugs out of prison I have no problem with banning syringes. If on the other hand you cannot keep drugs out of prisons – and to my knowledge this has never been done – then you have to deal with the situation.

Its a bit like teenage sex – you can tell them not to do it & read the bible or you can be practical & give them contraception.

Fiona 8:10 pm 07 Jan 11

2) erm that’s not IN the prison though, as AAM said

Brianna 8:05 pm 07 Jan 11

The drugs in the prison are illegal. They are illegal outside gaol too. So, short and to the point, fuck ’em. No needles in gaol.

Mystery2Me 7:37 pm 07 Jan 11

In NSW I know of quite a number of cases where prison officers have been pricked by syringes hidden by inmates. I also know of a number of cases where inmates have contracted Hep C and one where the inmate was waiting to see if they had HIV. That was last year, in one particular NSW correction centre. Who knows how many others cases there have been.

Sorry Proboscus, but it’s only a matter of time before an inmate at AMC gets a disease such as Hep C while in custody. How long has the place been open ???? If you could personally see some of the syringes that inmates use, you’d probably throw up on the spot.

Did you know that some gaols provide condomns ??? Female gaols also supply dental dams (yes, a piece of rubber designed to protect both participants from getting a disease). So what’s the difference with providing a disease free way of taking drugs, which they are already managing to get in and will continue to manage to get into AMC.

As far as not being able to charge people for bringing drugs in because the gaol supplies the equipment to use them, well that’s just complete f#@king rubbish. What about syringe dispensers in Belconnen and Civic. So because syringes are available in the community the police aren’t allowed to charge people with drug related offences anymore. Lol. Stupid argument.

Tooks 7:31 pm 07 Jan 11

From an AMC employee: One particular lady was caught smuggling drugs to a prisoner she was visiting. She was caught, but not banned from visits due to the human rights act.

Is it any wonder drugs are (allegedly) so freely available at AMC?

On another note, if I was a guard there I wouldn’t feel comfortable knowing one of the many Hep C (and worse) infected prisoners could use a freely available needle as a weapon against me. Of course, supporters of the proposed program will never have to worry about that, will they?

Clown Killer 7:23 pm 07 Jan 11

The responsibility falls squarely on the shoulders of the guards.

makes sense to me. May as well make the major suppliers of prison drugs responsible for the
sh!tfight if it all goes wrong.

OpenYourMind 7:06 pm 07 Jan 11

I don’t think providing syringes is ever meant as an encouragement for drug use. Think of it more as an investment. Small syringe cost equals massive public health cost saving.

JustThinking 6:43 pm 07 Jan 11

Wow so many thoughts.
I agree with prevention. One way or another they are going to do it anyway.
I feel squeamish at the thought of being a prison guard and having to search someones cell etc.
I guess it started with condoms, now syringes,,,maybe in the future they will be supplied the drugs so we know they aren’t taking anything ‘dirty’ that might harm them.
Crap, why even send them to the Hilton in the first place?

To the OP I can see the point. How contradicting is that?
If I got caught with a syringe with an illegal substance residue I could go to the Hilton,,where they will supply me with a syringe to use my illegal substance!?!?!

I don’t know the answer but it sure needs some thinking about before ANYONE makes a decision on it.

Mr Gillespie 6:42 pm 07 Jan 11

We need to bring back Stuart Gillespie as the force to be reckoned with in the prison system. Call me a gestapho but I totally support Proboscus in his sentiments on this joke of a ‘penal system’. Prisons are supposed to be there to punish the criminals, not give them free smack and continue their pathetic habits which lead to more crime on the outside.

It is absolutely disgusting that the officers aren’t allowed to speak out against the lunatics that run the asylum. Mr Gillespie is well aware all public servants have to live under a code of silence, not being able to speak out against the corruptness in the system. The code of silence is there to protect the dickheads that are in charge making the decisions for everyone regardless of the wishes of the democracy.

We need to rise up and speak against the softly-softly regime for criminals in the ACT (and in all of Australia). Canberra has become the laughing stock, and it is high time the tide was turned, and our justice system was brought back to the way it was meant to be.

vg 6:42 pm 07 Jan 11

“now they have to get permission from a higher ranking supervisor I’m told are too scared to conduct said searches.”

Sorry, but that is bollocks. The scared part that is

The Frots 6:20 pm 07 Jan 11

Absolute zero tolerance policy is needed here. I cannot believe that anyone is even considering this let alone advocating it.

We are talking about prisons…………..where people go to be ‘punished’ for crimes against society.

What’s next – daily massages to relax them from the day to day stress of confinement? Let’s all harden up a bit and realise that prison should be prison – not a break!

adsman 5:57 pm 07 Jan 11

You know what my first thought was? How come LAW ABIDING citizens are being ridiculed, made to feel like second class citizens for smoking tobaccoo which is a LEGAL product sold in shops, yet the same GOVERNMENT wants to provide CRIMINALS in PRISON with syringes to inject ILLEGAL drugs!? I think it’s time the Stanhope government was kicked out of office, this is just insane. Funnily enough The Canberra Times website was quick to close the comments section of the article about the prison syringes.

Proboscus 5:48 pm 07 Jan 11

@Deref: I did and his reply was that since the Human Rights Act came in that the guards powers have diminished when it comes to searches. Apparently they could strip search a prisoner on suspicion of carrying drugs before the HRA – now they have to get permission from a higher ranking supervisor I’m told are too scared to conduct said searches.

@AAM: (1) Just because you can’t keep the drugs out of a prison why would you encourage drug use in a Government run institution where the clients, for the main, are in their for drug related crime? As for drug smuggling by prison guards – my mate and I didn’t broach the subject.

(2) There are plenty of examples of blood filled syringes being used in armed hold-ups of your local. Where are these syringes coming from?

(3) Again, I didn’t broach the subject of needle stick injuries with my friend although you seem to have some knowledge of the subject – please enlighten us. And as I said in my OP, there are NO examples of prisoners getting a disease inside the Hilton.

Thumper 5:29 pm 07 Jan 11

Isn’t Joy Birch the Minister responsible?

La la la la la la.. can’t hear you…

Affirmative Action Man 5:24 pm 07 Jan 11

A few facts
Three facts

1. No prison anywhere in the world has been able to keep drugs out (some are smuggled in by prison guards)

2. There has never been an attack with a syringe in a prison anywhere when have been made available

3. There have been a number of injuries caused during searches when prion officers accidently prick themselves on syringes hidden in the cells.

Its in everybody’s interest to minimise the spread of HIV/Hep A,B & C so we don’t really want people coming out of jail more pox ridden than when they went in.

Deref 5:15 pm 07 Jan 11

Did you ask your mate why their inspections are so totally ineffective at stopping drugs from getting in?


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