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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nobody nobody 5:59 pm 28 Jul 11

The so called “War against Drugs” has been lost. Lost in Mexico where Drug Lords rule the country, lost at national borders where corrupt officials are offered too much money to turn down, lost on the streets where so called “Bikie Gang” thugs have $10M homes, and lost each time a corrupt police officer takes the money instead of making the arrest. The so called “War against Drugs” has generated a global network of criminal gangs making huge profits, in this case stretching from the poppy fields of Afghanistan to the user in prison.

We know we can’t keep drugs out of the country, off the streets, and out of prisons. Just say no, just increase security, just increase surveillance, don’t work. So, lets accept this, not give up, but try to deal with the situation as it really exists. Prison sentences are handed out to drug addicts, they have access to drugs while in prison, but their sentence did not include “transmission of blood borne virus” while incarcerated. Give them safe access to needles and treatment to kick the habit.

The Frots The Frots 5:57 pm 28 Jul 11

johnboy said :

The trouble with “zero tolerance” devotees is they forget that it came to prominence in New York where it was implemented with a quadrupling (from memory) of funding to the NYPD.

It’s not about a policy change as every idiot who sprouts it seems to thing, it’s about a massive re-allocation of resources to enforce the rule of law.

Most analysis of New York’s success in reducing crime suggests it had less to do with “zero tolerance” per se, and much more to do with finally having lots of police out and about.

Zero tolerance is actually a policy JB. It was used in NYC and it was effective. They did allocate extra resources but the cost was neutralised by the reduction in other resources that were used to support things such as narcotic centres, etc.

But in the case of a gaol, you effectively have a ‘box’ and the idea is to keep things from getting into the ‘box’. NYC Police had a much bigger playing field with much more issues.

Jim Jones Jim Jones 5:43 pm 28 Jul 11

colourful sydney racing identity said :

The Frots said :

colourful sydney racing identity said :

Using clean needles saves lives.
Don’t weasel away from likening my comments to supporting child rape. it is baselss, offensive and nothing but a reffuge for someone who can not answer a simple question to defend their position

You may want to have a read of the post again.

Now in answer to your question……………….ah, wait……………….I already did………..again!!!

You need to understand CSRI that while your life may revolve around statistics and the importance of not doing anything without them, I do not have any statistics for you. I could of course have a look – the internet is quick and dirty enough for that – but I think that the position of ‘zero tolerance’ speaks for itself.

Now, ask me again about whether I have any ‘stats’ to support my position……………………………..

it has not been answered “Where has zero tolerence been effective?”

Sure, he might not have any fancy ‘evidence’ or ‘research’ that backs up what he says, but … blah blah something about common sense and drugs are bad.

Wily_Bear Wily_Bear 5:02 pm 28 Jul 11

johnboy said :

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

So Johnboy, the remand prisoners are entitled to a presumption of innocence, yet the guards who work in the jail are not?
Have there been cases of this happening?

johnboy johnboy 4:59 pm 28 Jul 11

The trouble with “zero tolerance” devotees is they forget that it came to prominence in New York where it was implemented with a quadrupling (from memory) of funding to the NYPD.

It’s not about a policy change as every idiot who sprouts it seems to thing, it’s about a massive re-allocation of resources to enforce the rule of law.

Most analysis of New York’s success in reducing crime suggests it had less to do with “zero tolerance” per se, and much more to do with finally having lots of police out and about.

colourful sydney racing identity colourful sydney racing identity 4:50 pm 28 Jul 11

The Frots said :

colourful sydney racing identity said :

Using clean needles saves lives.
Don’t weasel away from likening my comments to supporting child rape. it is baselss, offensive and nothing but a reffuge for someone who can not answer a simple question to defend their position

You may want to have a read of the post again.

Now in answer to your question……………….ah, wait……………….I already did………..again!!!

You need to understand CSRI that while your life may revolve around statistics and the importance of not doing anything without them, I do not have any statistics for you. I could of course have a look – the internet is quick and dirty enough for that – but I think that the position of ‘zero tolerance’ speaks for itself.

Now, ask me again about whether I have any ‘stats’ to support my position……………………………..

it has not been answered “Where has zero tolerence been effective?”

Tooks Tooks 4:38 pm 28 Jul 11

Jim Jones said :

The Frots said :

Zero tolerance is effective and it can be done and maintained.

BWA HAHA HAHAH AHAHAHAHAHA HA AHAHA HA HA HAHA A HAHA HAHA A

Actually, it probably could be achieved in prison (in theory); non-contact visits, full screening of staff when they enter the facility etc. But obviously in reality, this won’t happen, as those policies wouldn’t be human rights compliant.

They won’t keep drugs out of the AMC, because they’ll never go down the path of the kinds of policy I mentioned above. Even visitors caught smuggling drugs in aren’t banned from the facility, as that would be a breach of human rights.

Given half the prison population already have diseases like Hep C, and a majority of inmates are there due to crimes relating directly or indirectly to drug abuse/addiction, I would prefer a policy that prevents them taking drugs, so they have a chance to get off them and have a genuine shot at rehabilitation. This needle exchange may minimise the spread of infectious diseases within the prison, but it’s also going to allow inmates to remain drug dependant during their sentence. In the long run, is that really helping anyone?

fgzk fgzk 4:37 pm 28 Jul 11

Frots the sun will rise but sometimes you don’t need statistics to know that tomorrow the sun will rise in the east – it is common sense.

You could at least be accurate in your statements

Sunrise at 7:02 AM in direction 67° East-northeast

Zero tolerance wont do what you said it would either. Not even close.

Stick to +1ing

The Frots The Frots 4:34 pm 28 Jul 11

colourful sydney racing identity said :

Using clean needles saves lives.
Don’t weasel away from likening my comments to supporting child rape. it is baselss, offensive and nothing but a reffuge for someone who can not answer a simple question to defend their position

You may want to have a read of the post again.

Now in answer to your question……………….ah, wait……………….I already did………..again!!!

You need to understand CSRI that while your life may revolve around statistics and the importance of not doing anything without them, I do not have any statistics for you. I could of course have a look – the internet is quick and dirty enough for that – but I think that the position of ‘zero tolerance’ speaks for itself.

Now, ask me again about whether I have any ‘stats’ to support my position……………………………..

The Frots The Frots 4:28 pm 28 Jul 11

Jim Jones said :

The Frots said :

Zero tolerance is effective and it can be done and maintained.

BWA HAHA HAHAH AHAHAHAHAHA HA AHAHA HA HA HAHA A HAHA HAHA A

Outstanding effort Jimbo – you bring the usual advances to the table that we are all used to.

Stupid really should hurt, shouldn’t it?

colourful sydney racing identity colourful sydney racing identity 4:25 pm 28 Jul 11

Using clean needles saves lives.
Don’t weasel away from likening my comments to supporting child rape. it is baselss, offensive and nothing but a reffuge for someone who can not answer a simple question to defend their position

Jim Jones Jim Jones 4:16 pm 28 Jul 11

The Frots said :

Your question, if you read above, was answered. Zero tolerance is being tried – but there are long ways to go. But they are trying. If you are expecting stats, I do not have them. Feel free to comment about ‘no empirical evidence to support this and that………..blah, blah………but sometimes you don’t need statistics to know that tomorrow the sun will rise in the east – it is common sense.

BWA HA HA AHAHA HA HAHA AHA HA AH HA

oh … stop … please … you’re killing me

Jim Jones Jim Jones 4:15 pm 28 Jul 11

The Frots said :

Zero tolerance is effective and it can be done and maintained.

BWA HAHA HAHAH AHAHAHAHAHA HA AHAHA HA HA HAHA A HAHA HAHA A

The Frots The Frots 4:06 pm 28 Jul 11

colourful sydney racing identity said :

The Frots said :

Your question, if you read above, was answered. Zero tolerance is being tried – but there are long ways to go. But they are trying. If you are expecting stats, I do not have them. Feel free to comment about ‘no empirical evidence to support this and that………..blah, blah………but sometimes you don’t need statistics to know that tomorrow the sun will rise in the east – it is common sense.

You can find no evidence to support your claims and then resort to likening my position to procuring children to be raped – that is what I find offensive. I am surprised you haven’t brought out the ‘that sounds suspiciously like something Adolf Hitler would say’ tripe.

And, for the record, I have lost both family and friends to illicit substances, my position is more likely to save lives than yours.

By advocating the use of narcotics in gaols, how is that likely to save lives exactly? And do you give these drugs to people who weren’t using them when they went into gaol? That would be helpful I’m sure.

Do you think that these drugs in gaol won’t be used as another ‘supply and demand’ crime by the dominant inmates? Won’t they be ‘pressuring’ the weaker ones to get their ‘legal drugs’ as well?

My point on the issue of rape within prison, as unpleasant as it is to think about, is that using your analogy where do you stop giving in? At what point do you say ‘no’? We probably all know people and have family who are either lost or affected by narcotics and you are no exception. My view is – zero tolerance.

colourful sydney racing identity colourful sydney racing identity 3:58 pm 28 Jul 11

maloomike said :

There is also a point to make here as well. In most cases the use of illicit drugs are generally associated with crime, hence prison. Allowing prisoners to continue their drug habit will not rehabilitate them after prison. Once released what stops them from committing another crime to fuel their addiction? Is the community better off?

Which is precisely why we need drug law reform. Who profits from prohibition? Certainly not people who are mugged or have their house burgled.

colourful sydney racing identity colourful sydney racing identity 3:57 pm 28 Jul 11

The Frots said :

Your question, if you read above, was answered. Zero tolerance is being tried – but there are long ways to go. But they are trying. If you are expecting stats, I do not have them. Feel free to comment about ‘no empirical evidence to support this and that………..blah, blah………but sometimes you don’t need statistics to know that tomorrow the sun will rise in the east – it is common sense.

You can find no evidence to support your claims and then resort to likening my position to procuring children to be raped – that is what I find offensive. I am surprised you haven’t brought out the ‘that sounds suspiciously like something Adolf Hitler would say’ tripe.

And, for the record, I have lost both family and friends to illicit substances, my position is more likely to save lives than yours.

maloomike maloomike 3:54 pm 28 Jul 11

There is also a point to make here as well. In most cases the use of illicit drugs are generally associated with crime, hence prison. Allowing prisoners to continue their drug habit will not rehabilitate them after prison. Once released what stops them from committing another crime to fuel their addiction? Is the community better off?

The Frots The Frots 3:35 pm 28 Jul 11

colourful sydney racing identity said :

The Frots said :

colourful sydney racing identity said :

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?

Be careful with stats – if you mean erradicated, well, some gaols in the US are heading that way I think but it is a long road.

But let’s look at your theory and apply it to another problem with gaols. Rapes within prisons. How would you deal with it CSRI? It’s not something ‘brought in’, thrown over a wall, or smuggled in the by the guards. So, as it still goes on, what would you do? Would you, based on your ‘let’s give them drugs theory’:

Provide them with women, or men, so that the rapes don’t continue?
Provide the kiddie fiddlers with children so that their urges don’t overpower them within gaol?
Perhaps submit the poor guards to the sexual desires of the dominant prisoners so as to keep the ‘peace’ within the gaol?

You want to look at a problem to fix, forget the drugs – fix this!

That is really beyond the pale.

I am arguing for harm minimisation and you liken my argument to providing children to be raped by prisoners? I think the fact that you would make such a leap reflects pretty poorly on you.

It is a highly offensive way to avoid a simple question, which I will reitterate, ‘where has zero tolerance been effective?’

I’m guessing that you don’t like the reality of your position. If you find it offensive, then imagine how people who have been affected by narcotics, or lost family and friends, are finding your solution? Not nice is it.

Your question, if you read above, was answered. Zero tolerance is being tried – but there are long ways to go. But they are trying. If you are expecting stats, I do not have them. Feel free to comment about ‘no empirical evidence to support this and that………..blah, blah………but sometimes you don’t need statistics to know that tomorrow the sun will rise in the east – it is common sense.

colourful sydney racing identity colourful sydney racing identity 3:25 pm 28 Jul 11

The Frots said :

colourful sydney racing identity said :

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?

Be careful with stats – if you mean erradicated, well, some gaols in the US are heading that way I think but it is a long road.

But let’s look at your theory and apply it to another problem with gaols. Rapes within prisons. How would you deal with it CSRI? It’s not something ‘brought in’, thrown over a wall, or smuggled in the by the guards. So, as it still goes on, what would you do? Would you, based on your ‘let’s give them drugs theory’:

Provide them with women, or men, so that the rapes don’t continue?
Provide the kiddie fiddlers with children so that their urges don’t overpower them within gaol?
Perhaps submit the poor guards to the sexual desires of the dominant prisoners so as to keep the ‘peace’ within the gaol?

You want to look at a problem to fix, forget the drugs – fix this!

That is really beyond the pale.

I am arguing for harm minimisation and you liken my argument to providing children to be raped by prisoners? I think the fact that you would make such a leap reflects pretty poorly on you.

It is a highly offensive way to avoid a simple question, which I will reitterate, ‘where has zero tolerance been effective?’

The Frots The Frots 3:19 pm 28 Jul 11

colourful sydney racing identity said :

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?

Be careful with stats – if you mean erradicated, well, some gaols in the US are heading that way I think but it is a long road.

But let’s look at your theory and apply it to another problem with gaols. Rapes within prisons. How would you deal with it CSRI? It’s not something ‘brought in’, thrown over a wall, or smuggled in the by the guards. So, as it still goes on, what would you do? Would you, based on your ‘let’s give them drugs theory’:

Provide them with women, or men, so that the rapes don’t continue?
Provide the kiddie fiddlers with children so that their urges don’t overpower them within gaol?
Perhaps submit the poor guards to the sexual desires of the dominant prisoners so as to keep the ‘peace’ within the gaol?

You want to look at a problem to fix, forget the drugs – fix this!

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