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No needles in new prison

By Jazz 2 August 2007 30

In one of those rare moments that is sure to startle us all both sides of the legislative assembly have agreed that providing a needle exchange facility in the yet to be built ACT Prison is a bad idea.


ABC Online
report that ACT Govt corrections staff are confident they can keep drugs out all of the prision all together and while Zed Seselja thinks that any consideration of a needle exchange would be sending a soft message, it seems that at least for now Comrade Jon is agreeing.

Whether it is politically expedient to change his mind later we shall see.

What’s Your opinion?


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No needles in new prison
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smack 7:47 pm 04 Aug 07

I think my point was missed a little by some! Dirty or clean, in a prison, a syringe is a weapon. Yes there are syringes and other weapons in prisons. No we will never completely get rid of them. Crims are crafty and will find a way. But we should not just hand them out.

If you think for one minute that Crims will save the clean syringes for prison guards, then you are mistaken. They fill them with blood, urine, cleaning product or just about anything they can be filled with. (and no no all but there are some lock away that see hurting or killing a prison guard as a notch on their belt to gain some respect)

Asp, if you think a clean syringe is not threatening, then you must be talking about when it is in the packet at the doctor. If you have a crim charging at you with a syringe in his hand, and he hates you just because you are a prison guard or in a opposing gang, and is intent on plunging it into your eye, and you dont find it threatening (because its a clean syringe), then you must be the hardest person in the world. The reality is this sort of thing happens in todays prisons, in Australia.

mutley 1:27 pm 03 Aug 07

Stan Bowles – I will look it up. I just needed to see some basis for the claim.

Boomacat – I have all seasons on DVD. The whole Beecher/Keller “relationship” is one of the more disturbing things I have watched on TV.

asp 1:04 pm 03 Aug 07

A further thought, of course if it ensured that safety of prison officer and community workers in the facilty, I woud support it. But one little thing… a clean syringe isn’t threatening!
It’s a good idea but is “pie in the sky” that providing clean syringes will help the safety of prison staff. A clen syringe isn’t much of a threat. It would havevto be used to have the desired responce. After all, you only ever hear of “armed with a blood filled syringe” on the new about robberies, not “the kind criminal held up the petrl station using a freshly sterlised, clean syring”

asp 12:58 pm 03 Aug 07

How do I suggest we keep drugs out? Well for one, there is too much freedm for inmates to have stuff brought in. Family, mail… heck even over the wall/fence. Don’t give them the chance. Close superision of visits, searches of all mail and ensuring no one can get close enough to chuck drugs over the fence. Its rediculous that in a “secure” facilty like a jail, that so much can get through. If airport security were that poor, no one would dare fly.
I know it’s not easy, and I don’t disagree that maybe saying no to needles is idealistic, but I’d rather be idealistic and develop solutions to keep drugs out, than conced defeat and start giving them needles.

stan_bowles 12:30 pm 03 Aug 07

Supposed to be out 16 Aug. Meanwhile there’s a great vid of Seinfeld in OZ here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1qe4YPOQVHw

boomacat 12:15 pm 03 Aug 07

Thank you for raising the real issue here Mutley.

Just when will the second season of Oz be available at my local video shop?

I am gagging for it and am too much of a goody two shoes nerd to download it illegally from the net.

Thumper 11:49 am 03 Aug 07

So only one person in a gaol has been stabbed by a syringe?

That is truly amazing…

In fact, almost unbelievable…

stan_bowles 11:43 am 03 Aug 07

“Any facts to back up your assertions on those “no recorded incidents”?”

See Lines, Rick et al. (2006) Prison Needle Exchange: Lessons from A Comprehensive Review of International Evidence and Experience Canadian.

mutley 11:14 am 03 Aug 07

However, in 1991 a NSW prison officer was stabbed by a used needle and developed HIV/AIDS. This took place in the absence of a prison needle exchange program.

Of course an inmate would ensure they have swapped for a clean needle before they stab a corrections officer.

Any facts to back up your assertions on those “no recorded incidents”?

And besides, why can’t they just snort the herion like on OZ?

boomacat 9:40 am 03 Aug 07

I agree with all that this is a tough issue.

However, the “no needle exchange in prisons” policy seems a victory of ideals over reality.

No prisons have ever been able to keep drugs out and I don’t see why the ACT prison is going to be any different.

The consequences of needle sharing are well known to us all; HIV, Hep etc

How much is this policy going to cost the community in medical bills from people being infected?

The “tough on drugs” attitude is such an easy way for lazy politicians to collect a few extra votes, but where are the real solutions and the genuine leadership?

I’m disappointed.

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