Needles in the prison up for public comment

johnboy 28 July 2011 137
photo by Crash Test Addict CC BY

Chief Minister Katy Gallagher has announced the release of Michael Moore’s report: Balancing Access
and Safety: Meeting the challenge of blood borne viruses in prison
.

The report recommends:

    1. The ACT Corrections Management Act 2007 be amended to require the establishment of an NSP at the AMC.

    2. A clear set of rules, procedures and protocols be established through an appropriate process guided by the ACT Corrections Management Act.

    3. Adopt a contingency process for the implementation of appropriate model/s for a needle and syringe program at the AMC.

    4. Recruitment of a dedicated Aboriginal Health Worker position in an NSP and related service provision would be worthy of consideration.

    5. The installation of secure syringe disposal bins would further reduce the potential for accidental needle-stick injury and be worthy of consideration even without the implementation of an NSP.

    6. Future developments in retractable syringe technology will need to be considered as part of the ongoing development of an NSP in custodial settings.

    7. Legislative amendments be considered to protect all staff from potential civil and criminal liability.

“The Government engaged Michael Moore to investigate and report on models for the implementation of an NSP at the Alexander Maconochie Centre (AMC) and the project included an assessment of the barriers to implementation with a broad range of consultations held with key stakeholders,” Ms Gallagher said.

The report has made seven (7) recommendations and the Government will now consider the recommendations, and seek the views of the community about the report, prior to finalising our response to report.

“The Government will welcome feedback from stakeholders to assist us with our final consideration of this very important issue. It’s important for anyone interested to provide their feedback on the report to the government over the next six week period.”

The consultation closes on 8 September and submissions can be made to AODpolicy@act.gov.au .

UPDATE: The Greens have announced their approval.

[photo by Crash Test Addict CC BY]


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137 Responses to Needles in the prison up for public comment
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colourful sydney racing identity colourful sydney racing identity 3:11 pm 28 Jul 11

The Frots said :

colourful sydney racing identity said :

The Frots said :

colourful sydney racing identity said :

The Frots said :

johnboy said :

And when you’ve finished shouting “prison! the end!” the drugs will still be there.

Hmmmm. Well, lets give up then!

Let’s make sure that the heroin, cocaine, crystal meth and even the weed that they were using on the streets is medically suitable and available for them when they get into prison. That will surely satisfy the ‘human rights’, ‘safety’ and all sorts of other policies we are so concerned about.

Finally you are making sense.

Oh, come on. Seriously………?

Well, not quite. If you had argued that the medically suitable drugs should be legally supplied in broader society then you would be making sense.

Vastly different position there I’m afraid. You’ll be aware that there has been plenty of arguement about the legilisation of narcotics since the late 1970’s as a way of reducing overdoses and of course minimising the impacts of organised crime on the market. Both aspects would probably be reduced – but you would have a fairly zoned out population.

But narcotics in prison is different. Zero tolerance is effective and it can be done and maintained. Some just choose to say it’s ‘too hard’ so what can we do to soften it.

If we really have people in these positions of authority who are satisified with the answer ‘it can’t be done’ then we probably need a significant change. What else ‘can’t be done’?

Where has zero tolerence been effective?

The Frots The Frots 2:48 pm 28 Jul 11

colourful sydney racing identity said :

The Frots said :

colourful sydney racing identity said :

The Frots said :

johnboy said :

And when you’ve finished shouting “prison! the end!” the drugs will still be there.

Hmmmm. Well, lets give up then!

Let’s make sure that the heroin, cocaine, crystal meth and even the weed that they were using on the streets is medically suitable and available for them when they get into prison. That will surely satisfy the ‘human rights’, ‘safety’ and all sorts of other policies we are so concerned about.

Finally you are making sense.

Oh, come on. Seriously………?

Well, not quite. If you had argued that the medically suitable drugs should be legally supplied in broader society then you would be making sense.

Vastly different position there I’m afraid. You’ll be aware that there has been plenty of arguement about the legilisation of narcotics since the late 1970’s as a way of reducing overdoses and of course minimising the impacts of organised crime on the market. Both aspects would probably be reduced – but you would have a fairly zoned out population.

But narcotics in prison is different. Zero tolerance is effective and it can be done and maintained. Some just choose to say it’s ‘too hard’ so what can we do to soften it.

If we really have people in these positions of authority who are satisified with the answer ‘it can’t be done’ then we probably need a significant change. What else ‘can’t be done’?

The_TaxMan The_TaxMan 2:44 pm 28 Jul 11

I worked at Long Bay Gaol (CIP), I can tell you for a fact that the vast majority of drugs in prisons are bought in by the Officers that work there. AMC is no different, it is absolutely possible to stop drugs entering the prison in any worthwhile quantity and that is to subject EVERY person that enters to complete screening it’s not difficult, it’s not expensive but it will require staff at all levels be subjected to scrutiny and that is an issue for the staff. The crims are searched after every visit (strip naked, open your mouth, run your fingers through your hair, lift you jewels and finally bend over spread your cheeks) it’s not a pleasant task for either the crim or the officer but it is done after every visit NO exceptions.
The evidence is available to prove the fact that not one single prisoner has entered the AMC clean and left with Hep C or HIV or any other blood born disease but the Government will not release these files because it would shoot down their own argument.
Prisons are for designed as punishment, rehabilitation is a by product that few ever embrace. People make choices in their life some good and some bad, if you choose to commit a crime and end up in prison then you have 2 choices once your there and they are use the time to improve yourself as best you can and it can be done if prisoners choose to but if they choose to maintain the same character that got them there in the first place then they will always come back again and again. There is no place for a needle exchange program in prisons, manage the prison properly and the need for this type of program becomes mute.

colourful sydney racing identity colourful sydney racing identity 2:07 pm 28 Jul 11

The Frots said :

colourful sydney racing identity said :

The Frots said :

johnboy said :

And when you’ve finished shouting “prison! the end!” the drugs will still be there.

Hmmmm. Well, lets give up then!

Let’s make sure that the heroin, cocaine, crystal meth and even the weed that they were using on the streets is medically suitable and available for them when they get into prison. That will surely satisfy the ‘human rights’, ‘safety’ and all sorts of other policies we are so concerned about.

Finally you are making sense.

Oh, come on. Seriously………?

Well, not quite. If you had argued that the medically suitable drugs should be legally supplied in broader society then you would be making sense.

johnboy johnboy 2:02 pm 28 Jul 11

I find it much more likely, that crooked drug selling guards talk about magical drug fairies throwing valuable drug filled tennis balls over the wall to god knows who, than that it actually happens.

Thevoiceofchoice Thevoiceofchoice 2:00 pm 28 Jul 11

@#33 I know. The old tennisball over the fence trick etc. Crack down on this coming in and there won’t be a need for needles, just good ol’ prison hooch.

The Frots The Frots 1:51 pm 28 Jul 11

colourful sydney racing identity said :

The Frots said :

johnboy said :

And when you’ve finished shouting “prison! the end!” the drugs will still be there.

Hmmmm. Well, lets give up then!

Let’s make sure that the heroin, cocaine, crystal meth and even the weed that they were using on the streets is medically suitable and available for them when they get into prison. That will surely satisfy the ‘human rights’, ‘safety’ and all sorts of other policies we are so concerned about.

Finally you are making sense.

Oh, come on. Seriously………?

Classified Classified 1:51 pm 28 Jul 11

Thevoiceofchoice said :

johnboy said :

How do you think the prison officers making big bucks selling needles will vote?

+2 The drugs don’t come in through visitors either

Drugs don’t have to be physically carried to get into the prison. There are other ways it can be done.

colourful sydney racing identity colourful sydney racing identity 1:47 pm 28 Jul 11

The Frots said :

johnboy said :

And when you’ve finished shouting “prison! the end!” the drugs will still be there.

Hmmmm. Well, lets give up then!

Let’s make sure that the heroin, cocaine, crystal meth and even the weed that they were using on the streets is medically suitable and available for them when they get into prison. That will surely satisfy the ‘human rights’, ‘safety’ and all sorts of other policies we are so concerned about.

Finally you are making sense.

Thevoiceofchoice Thevoiceofchoice 1:28 pm 28 Jul 11

johnboy said :

How do you think the prison officers making big bucks selling needles will vote?

+2 The drugs don’t come in through visitors either

Watson Watson 1:12 pm 28 Jul 11

johnboy said :

How do you think the prison officers making big bucks selling needles will vote?

+1

Classified Classified 1:10 pm 28 Jul 11

Proboscus said :

Are you for real? A needle exchange program has existed for years in the community and hasn’t worked. If it did, none of the junkies in Canberra would be disease ridden and there would be the added bonus of no used syringes in our parks, playgrounds or on our ovals for our kids to step on or curiously pick up.

This is a very good point, and something that should be discussed a bit further. Why hasn’t the program worked ‘on the outside’? Or has it worked, and we just don’t see it?

The Frots The Frots 1:00 pm 28 Jul 11

johnboy said :

And when you’ve finished shouting “prison! the end!” the drugs will still be there.

Hmmmm. Well, lets give up then!

Let’s make sure that the heroin, cocaine, crystal meth and even the weed that they were using on the streets is medically suitable and available for them when they get into prison. That will surely satisfy the ‘human rights’, ‘safety’ and all sorts of other policies we are so concerned about.

Jim Jones Jim Jones 12:42 pm 28 Jul 11

Henry82 said :

Imo let the prison officers decide – they’re the ones on the front line. However, they shouldnt be shooting up anyway, perhaps the budget can be used on drug detection, rather than needle exchange

While we’re at it, we can let teachers decide education policy, the police can be in charge of law and order policy, and we’ll let the financial sector self-regulate too … what could possibly go wrong?

Henry82 Henry82 12:41 pm 28 Jul 11

Watson said :

Aren’t they putting the safety of the guards first by supplying the prisoners with clean needles? There is less chance that a needle that has only been used once is infected with some disease than a needle that has been passed onto a dozen people.

And by that logic, police should hand out knives to kids. So if they stab someone, it will be a clean knife

johnboy johnboy 12:36 pm 28 Jul 11

How do you think the prison officers making big bucks selling needles will vote?

Watson Watson 12:35 pm 28 Jul 11

Proboscus said :

Innovation said :

OK I’m going to show my ignorance, and I haven’t read the report to see if it answers my questions, but why doesn’t the prison conduct regular and random (or even daily) drug tests? Anyone caught with drugs in their system would be immediately isolated, treated, and subject to daily drug testing for a lengthy period thereafter. If we drug test drivers and athletes what makes prisoners so unique?

If this is already done, then I’m out of ideas as to how to stop needles and drugs getting into the prison system and, like many, I’m torn between the safety (needs) of the prison officers and the safety (needs) of all prisoners.

I may be in the minority here but surely you’d put the safety of the guards first? Prisoners know the risks involved with intravenous drug use and are still happy taking them – even within the confines of the Hilton.

There are also the issues of who’s responsible when one of Canberra’s finest overdoses? Will Katy put her hand up and say “Oops, my bad”.

Or when a guard gets stabbed with a syringe or suffers a needlestick injury – who will say “No worries champ – it’s my fault”?

The people in the Canbera jail are not there for being wonderful contributers to our community – they’re scum who should do their time, do any rehabilitation or programs that their supposed to do and then be reintegrated into the community ONLY when they are fit to do so.

Aren’t they putting the safety of the guards first by supplying the prisoners with clean needles? There is less chance that a needle that has only been used once is infected with some disease than a needle that has been passed onto a dozen people.

Henry82 Henry82 12:34 pm 28 Jul 11

Imo let the prison officers decide – they’re the ones on the front line. However, they shouldnt be shooting up anyway, perhaps the budget can be used on drug detection, rather than needle exchange

Jim Jones Jim Jones 12:30 pm 28 Jul 11

The Frots said :

johnboy said :

OK guys, you’re having a good old huff and puff, but until people wake up in the morning saying “why would I want to be a lazy public servant hitting on cute grads between planning morning tea when I can be a prison guard!” we’re going to have drugs in the prison.

Now do you want everyone going into the prison to be coming out a nest of infectious diseases or not?

Disagree JB. It is prison – the end!

We have a lot of research and policy papers available on why drugs cannot be kept out of prison. Everyone seems to just roll over to the idea that it’s here, man up and deal with it. We, and I do mean all of us, should be asking why is it so difficult to stop. As we go through the reasons why it is, deal with those issues one by one until we get a zero drug policy.

If we don’t approach the drug issue in prisons as a zero tolerance policy, then we have simply given up. We have decided it’s simply too hard and we’ll sit this one out. What’s next after that that we simply roll over for?

It is not impossible, but damn its hard. But we need to persist with it.

Sure there’s a lot of research and policy work done by a bunch of people who’ve devoted their lives to developing an understanding of the issues … but let’s just ignore that and go with a gut-feeling of fear and loathing — that people in prison are morally evil — and follow a zero tolerance policy that’s never demonstrated any level of effectiveness anywhere on the face of the earth.

OH WHAT A GREAT IDEA!!!

Watson Watson 12:24 pm 28 Jul 11

Proboscus said :

Watson said :

Proboscus said :

Can Katy, or one of her mob of f***tards, tell us how an NSP contributes to improving a prisoners prospects of living a law abiding and useful life?

By replying I’m feeling like I’m agreeing to being a f***tard, but I will rise above your dizzying heights of rationality and eloquence.

How does NOT putting policies in place to prevent an increased risk of attracting HIV or Hepatatis increase their chances of making it in the outside world?

Are you for real? A needle exchange program has existed for years in the community and hasn’t worked. If it did, none of the junkies in Canberra would be disease ridden and there would be the added bonus of no used syringes in our parks, playgrounds or on our ovals for our kids to step on or curiously pick up.

My information is that not a single prisoner has contracted Hepatitis, HIV or any other disease whilst in the Hilton – it’s contracted in the community and brought in. Keep the needles out of the prison and fix up the program in the community.

I would like to believe you, but it’s a bit “he said, she said” without any reliable sources to back this up.

And it’s not because not all druggies use the syringe exchange program that none of them do. If even only a few use it, it’s worth it.

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