Needle exchange at the Hume virus farm?

johnboy 19 May 2010 24

The ABC has a lengthy story on a reported transmission of hepatitis C at the Alexander Maconochie Centre (aka The Prison).

With infection rates out there running at 65% the real surprise is that it’s taken this long.

It has, however, prompted calls for a needle exchange at the prison the reduce the spread of disease amongst the injecting recreational drug users at the facility.

Simon Corbell, with all the resolve we have come to expect from him, is promising a review of the issue later in the year.

Now yes, it would be nice if we could keep drugs and needles out of the prison. But with that horse long ago bolted, is anyone actually opposed to an exchange for any rational reason any more?

I understand the guards don’t like needles, but I’d prefer to get stuck by a nice clean new one than some ground down stump that’s been in the arm of every junky in the facility.

Needle exchange at the prison

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24 Responses to Needle exchange at the Hume virus farm?
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fgzk fgzk 9:45 am 21 May 10

I’m heartened by peoples opinions that you can actually stop drugs. It would seem that contrary to all the evidence of the past 50 years some of you still believe you can control drugs through punitive measures. No wonder some of you get so frustrated by the issue. Its like you think there is some alternate reality somewhere in the world where drugs don’t exists. Where drug users stop using. Some of you even think AMC might one day be drug free. Sorry it will never happen like that. I wish you the best with beating the junkies into submition. Bloodied knuckles all round.

I agree with junkie whore. Less harm means, less tax money and less corruption.

“This is a non-issue. Clean up prison corruption” You do know the prison is full of criminals.

gospeedygo gospeedygo 2:53 pm 20 May 10

Its nice to see everything is going swimmingly at the Alexander Maconochie Holiday Camp for Disadvantaged Boys and Girls.

hax hax 12:43 pm 20 May 10

I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have much luck getting onto a plane with drugs. WTF

Next issue will be that the actual drugs getting into prison are also potentially unsafe, and so the ACT taxpayer should supply free ‘safe’ drugs.
(No, seriously. How can you supply clean needles, on the premise of safety, for the purpose of injecting god knows what.. drain cleaner for all we know?)

All you’re showing the criminals is, once again, it’s possible to ‘get away with it’. And once released it’s only going get 100x easier.

This is a non-issue. Clean up prison corruption.
Solitary confinement and no ‘presents’ for those with drugs in their system until they’re off the drugs.

Jenna57 Jenna57 12:34 pm 20 May 10

Junkie Whore, further help, rehabilitation, and punishment through drug tests is going to help because they can smuggle and hide the drugs all they like, but they cannot escape the test. Prison is all about deterrent, punishment, and rehabilitation, so this seems like a good solution to me. Criminals get off light enough as it is in ACT, I certainly would like to see sentences extended for drug smuggling and taking and other criminal activity in prisons

+1

#17

+1

earthrepair earthrepair 11:26 am 20 May 10

In terms of harm minimisation international evidence shows needle exchange would be beneficial overall.

“Reservations in Australia stem from prison staff safety following the death of a prison officer stabbed with a syringe full of HIV-infected blood in the 1990s.

The point in this case is that the officer was stabbed with a syringe despite the fact that needles are banned in jails.

Would it not be safer for officers to work in an environment where needles are uncontaminated and clearly monitored, as opposed to hidden, illegal and a possibly carrying lethal disease?” (Canberra Times).

It also made the point in that article that letting these diseases spread like Hep C is costing society billions of $ in health care costs.

Pommy bastard Pommy bastard 10:59 am 20 May 10

Kent Street said :

Furry Jesus said :

I can only wonder how well all the prisoner-haters would have done if life had dealt them the same set of crap cards as most of these guys got.

Speak to me and tell me how you know so well what ‘set of cards’ I got dealt, or any other posters got dealt.

You criticise all and sundry for their blanket assumptions while you yourself are making similar generalisations. Thank you Mr Kettle-Black.

+1

cleo cleo 11:46 pm 19 May 10

I’ve heard the prison is corrupted, and there are mobile phones!

Kent Street Kent Street 9:58 pm 19 May 10

Furry Jesus said :

I can only wonder how well all the prisoner-haters would have done if life had dealt them the same set of crap cards as most of these guys got.

Speak to me and tell me how you know so well what ‘set of cards’ I got dealt, or any other posters got dealt.

You criticise all and sundry for their blanket assumptions while you yourself are making similar generalisations. Thank you Mr Kettle-Black.

Swaggie Swaggie 9:02 pm 19 May 10

#10 +1 The reality is that most drugs get into prisons through guards turning a blind eye or supplying themselves so if they don’t want needles in prison the answer is in their own hands. I’ll save Corbell the time, trouble and taxpayer’s expense of a review and tell him to tell the Prison officers to get the drugs out of the system – simple.

Special G Special G 8:21 pm 19 May 10

No needles and drugs. One needle located = complete lock down of everybody for a week. no visits etc.

Cletus 3 Cletus 3 8:13 pm 19 May 10

Could you run a prison with no drugs? What about factoring in corruption of the staff? A prison with no drugs might be preferable, but I don’t know if it is realistically possible. And I don’t want criminals to get off lightly or get good treatment, but rehabilitation is important if they’re going to be released again in future so I think it is reasonable for the ones who follow the rules to be given some small leeway (not to take drugs, but to interact with others).

Junkie Whore, further help, rehabilitation, and punishment through drug tests is going to help because they can smuggle and hide the drugs all they like, but they cannot escape the test. Prison is all about deterrent, punishment, and rehabilitation, so this seems like a good solution to me. Criminals get off light enough as it is in ACT, I certainly would like to see sentences extended for drug smuggling and taking and other criminal activity in prisons.

Furry Jesus Furry Jesus 8:08 pm 19 May 10

I have to wonder at the attraction of this topic for the simple-minded. Simple-minded in that most of the comments tar prisoners with a single brush. Easy to do, but who cares if it’s accurate?

When you start to recognise the level of mental health problems, intellectual disability and acquired brain injury, the histories of child abuse and neglect and failure of families and social services that many prisoners carry around with them, and the profound effects of daily exposure to violence and rape that all prisoners have to endure from day one of their first sentence, it’s hard to characterise all prisoners as wasters throwing their lives away.

Not all are psychopaths, and even fewer are corporate sharks who could afford good lawyers (and whose children go to the same schools as their judges).

It’s always handy to have a social group against whom our own personal failings and flaws can be made to look smaller in comparison, even make us look like paragons of virtue and social responsibility. And men in prison are there at the bottom of the pile, doing us all that great favour.

I can only wonder how well all the prisoner-haters would have done if life had dealt them the same set of crap cards as most of these guys got. Remember the old saying ‘There but for the grace of God go I.’

Or even better remember Dostoyevsky. ‘The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons’

Ceej1973 Ceej1973 7:10 pm 19 May 10

One word- Wasters, Two words – COLD TURKEY, Three words- burden on Society!

junkie whore junkie whore 6:42 pm 19 May 10

Finally this issue has made the media. Prior to the opening of the AMC a number of community orgs lobbied the powers above to consider a needle exchange being introduced to the system. The obstacle being the ignorant argument from prison staff about the risk of needle attacks from inmates. So do they actually believe that needles and drugs are not already in the system?

A few reasons people should consider this challenging option, the increased burden on the health system, that female prisons have rates of 84% and the majority of female inmates are incarcerated for non violent offences and the increased violence associated with needle ownership, and that the majority of inmates are incarcerated for sentences of less than three months.

I cannot grasp how further punishment of inmates through drug tests is going to help the situation at all!

CraigT CraigT 5:39 pm 19 May 10

No, the reality is that *I* could run a prison with no drugs in it. Pretty sure my 9-year-old could do it, too.

The last thing criminals needs is drugs in prison. The limp-wristed hand-wringing “human rights” types are actually doing far more damage than would a proper program of discipline and no-nonsense chokey for dumb flogs too stupid to stay out of gaol.

vg vg 5:34 pm 19 May 10

What a fair, even and open minded poll

Clown Killer Clown Killer 4:17 pm 19 May 10

The reality is that needles and drugs find their way into prisons despite (and because of) the best efforts of the authorities. Whether or not the chap could bring a successful case against the Government would come down to a duty of care argument along the lines of – if the government can’t guarantee that no drugs or syringes will get into the prison (which they can’t) then they may have a responsibility to reduce the potential for that contraband to do harm.

On the other hand I find it difficult to understand how someone who voluntarily takes drugs and gets infected with a blood-borne disease can argue that someone else could be responsible – but in a world where personal accountability is worth shit and there’s someone to blame for everything I guess anything’s possible.

Cletus 3 Cletus 3 4:14 pm 19 May 10

I suppose it’s a basic human right to allow harry hitters to get their fix in a clean environment. Not just those who ask for clean needles.

I suggest if prisons are really supposed to be about rehabilitation, then there should be frequent mandatory drug tests of all prisoners (and guards, while we’re at it), and upon failing a drug test or being discovered with drugs, increased sentences and reduction in privileges should apply, as well as compulsory detox and drug rehabilitation program.

Give them clean needles if they request them, no needle exchange program. Require simply that the return their used needle when they have finished. Penalties apply if they do not. This should minimise the number of dirty needles in circulation in the general population.

It may cost a bit more, but it should result in fewer drug addicted ex-cons being released back into the world, fewer people infected with diseases like hepatitis, and reduction in demand for drugs in prisons and better safety for the inmates and staff.

Kent Street Kent Street 3:49 pm 19 May 10

Slightly off-topic, but what I just don’t get is the threat of legal action from the prisoner.

So, this person does something illegal and gets sent to prison. That person then does something that I’m assuming is illegal whilst in prison. Then this person has the right to take legal action against the government for not safely assisting him/her in performing the second illegal act.

Perry Mason I aint, but how could this possibly succeed in a court of law?

Pommy bastard Pommy bastard 1:36 pm 19 May 10

Hey, at least I gave a them choice? 😉

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