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Jeremy Hanson’s response to “small problem” over blood borne diseases

By johnboy - 12 January 2011 24

letter to the editor

Following on from the Chiefly castigation of Jeremy Hanson the Liberals have emailed through a scan of a letter to the editor they’ve had published on this issue.

To date, just one case of transmission has occurred in 18 months. Given that several hundred prisoners have moved through the jail since it opened, this equates to a transfer rate of about a quarter to a half of 1 per cent.

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24 Responses to
Jeremy Hanson’s response to “small problem” over blood borne diseases
Peep 4:34 pm 13 Jan 11

johnboy said :

well, it’s more like giving the alcoholics clean glasses.

This is true, however a glass can still be dangerous. I’ve seen train spotting.

Which brings me to my new point – Crims shouldn’t be allowed anything in prisons that we’re not allowed on planes.

So no glasses, aerosol cans or nail clippers.

The only issue I can see with that is that the stop prohibition guys and other bleeding hearts will complain that the ice addicts with no teeth won’t be able to chew their nails.

PM 4:15 pm 13 Jan 11

stopprohibition said :

Written on behalf of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition Australia

I wonder if “Prohibition Australia” exists…

Seriously, first thing’s first – you can’t treat it as a health issue inside prison and a criminal issue outside – there should be consistency.

And I think Pippy raises good points.

Pippy 4:06 pm 13 Jan 11

stopprohibition said :

The solution to the needle program is to have illicit drugs dealt with as a medical/health problem in society and not a law enforcement issue. Having drug dependent individuals properly treated and managed will stop the majority being sent to prison to start with. It will also save millions in a wasted battle that tries to stop illicit drugs being imported into Australia, plus the gangs and bikies who dominate the market. For more information stopprohibition@gmail.com. Written on behalf of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition Australia

My immediate reaction to this post (and without reading more arguments from your site) raises the question of how legalising drugs will benefit the community. How will it reduce the number of dependents? People imprisoned for drug related crimes are not limited to charges relating to their “possession” of the drug, but for what they do “under the influence” or “to fund the habit”.
Wouldn’t drugs being more readily available increase the crimes in these categories? Just because they would be legal to (possess, distribute, inject) does not make the consequences of its use any less criminal.
What type of health monitoring is suggested via the sanctioning of drugs, to ensure that the widespread availability does not negatively impact on current users, let alone the younger generation who would be more openly exposed to its uptake.
Not to have anything agains the idea of treating the addiction as a health or medical problem, but just by making it “legal”, does not make it “ok”. In my opinion, the prohibition of drug (use, possession etc), is partly driven by the factor of deterring drug (use, possession etc).
HOWEVER – prohibition (or not), of drugs is not the topic or the point here, and could well venture a long discussion (or debate, or argument).
The point is (for me), providing more access to needles for prisoners is ignoring the fact that drugs ARE illegal, and they ARE causal or linked to criminal behaviour.
How about effective monitoring of the health consequences of the use of drugs, or sharing injecting equipment. I would also be interested in the statistics regarding the use of drugs in prison (ie, urinalysis results, contraband finds, self-reporting), and whether expenditure and risk (as I discussed above) is beneficial in comparison to the monitoring and treatment of the prisoners who are in this category of infected (or not) intravenous drug users.

stopprohibition 3:31 pm 13 Jan 11

The solution to the needle program is to have illicit drugs dealt with as a medical/health problem in society and not a law enforcement issue. Having drug dependent individuals properly treated and managed will stop the majority being sent to prison to start with. It will also save millions in a wasted battle that tries to stop illicit drugs being imported into Australia, plus the gangs and bikies who dominate the market. For more information stopprohibition@gmail.com. Written on behalf of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition Australia

johnboy 3:19 pm 13 Jan 11

well, it’s more like giving the alcoholics clean glasses.

Peep 3:17 pm 13 Jan 11

In lieu of a well structured argument, I’m going to go the populous route –

We don’t give alcoholic criminals access to alcohol and we don’t give paedophiles access to children.

Flame on.

schmeah 2:32 pm 13 Jan 11

oooh, the Canberra Liberals supported by the union … a marriage doomed.

JustThinking 2:27 pm 13 Jan 11

We have needle exchanges outside of prisons but does it stop the sharing of needles (of those who don’t care)?
Why would it have so much greater effect inside prison?

Pippy 1:53 pm 13 Jan 11

in a prison with a rehabilitation approach to human rights, the provision of a needle exchange would be acknowledging the use of drugs within the prison itself.
There is a lot of research, trial, training and effort (and $$) committed to the “prevention” of drugs entering a prison. (not to mention the efforts of rehabilitation from crime, or drug use itself).
In my opinion, providing access to needles is contradictory to the approach that the prison is a vaccuum free from drugs. Obviously this is an idealistic view, and we know that prisoners can sometimes get a hold of some sort of substance which they would smoke, ingest or inject. However, the approach to restricting the entrance of such substances (which in a LOT of cases is causal or linked to the crime they are imprisoned for), would be a better “community safety” approach in the long term, rather than facilitating (in a way) their continued drug use, and ignoring the criminal aspects of the crime itself.
There are also a number of issues that will fall back on staff, including the higher distribution rate of needles that (could) be used as a weapon or threat against them, or other prisoners, as well as the question being raised, WHO has the duty of care to monitor what is being used in the needles? what will the prisoners be “injecting”? How can a custodial officer (or any other staff member) be sure of the minute-to-minute health and safety of the prisoners they are working with? will they use the needles to self-harm? how can a prisoner be responsible to actively participate in education, counselling or other rehabilitative efforts to reduce recidivism, if they are under the influence of drugs?
In this case I am whole heartedly with the opposition’s views on the potential introduction of needle exchanges within the prison environment. Why don’t we put more effort into the actual problem of drug use, through education, legislative reforms or rehabilitative efforts. I would like to see more evidence of the validity of such a proposed program prior to any “political” move to introduce it.

Tooks 9:54 am 13 Jan 11

Special G said :

Easy – Every prisoner starts with no contact with any others or outside world until conprehensive drug rehab program is completed. Followed by drug testing and the like. Should you fail a test – no contact until off the gear again. Stay in the rehab centre until clean.

I like that idea, but unfortunately it will never happen because such procedures would be in breach of their human rights.

Special G 9:46 am 13 Jan 11

Easy – Every prisoner starts with no contact with any others or outside world until conprehensive drug rehab program is completed. Followed by drug testing and the like. Should you fail a test – no contact until off the gear again. Stay in the rehab centre until clean.

Mental Health Worker 8:17 am 13 Jan 11

More sniffer dogs would not solve the problem. To explain why would be irresponsible.

Also, people seem to forget that most prisons contain legal health centres, stocked with all kinds of interesting prescription drugs and medical equipment. Combine that with a clientele with light fingers, and no illegal or legal drugs or needles need come into a prison from the outside for there to be a problem.

Any opposition to a needle exchange program that ignores facts like this, ARE by definition based on ignorance. There are lots of reasons to oppose such a program, but the reasons need to stand up to scrutiny, otherwise they will be dismissed (rightly) as ill-informed.

MHW

fgzk 7:12 am 13 Jan 11

LSWCHP “But seriously folks…what’s going on with these people who want to supply needles to prisoners? “

Seriously….. they are trying to prevent blood born viruses in our community. Not so hard to understand. It is a medical approach based on reality. I believe they found that the moral approach did nothing to prevent infections.

cleo 2:04 am 13 Jan 11

More sniffer dogs please!

LSWCHP 9:48 pm 12 Jan 11

Shudder…gack..arrrgghhh!!!..I..agree with…eurgh…this Liberal…nuunnngh!!!…politician.

Whew…pant..pant..pant…never thought I could get those words to pass my lips…but apparently anything is possible in this modern age of miracles.

But seriously folks…what’s going on with these people who want to supply needles to prisoners? Are they perhaps really alien invaders from Planet Tharg or some other remote part of the cosmos, who are having trouble concealing their differences from normal human beings? That’s the most likely proposition I could come up with, anyway. Nothing else makes any sense to me.

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