The provision of sterile syringes and the reduction of occupational health and safety risk in the new prison
On Tuesday 24 June, 2008 John Ryan, Chief Executive Officer of Anex in Victoria addressed the question: "Can NSPs reduce OH&S risk in the AMC? Syringes and Work Safety in the new ACT prison." Anex is the leading community-based organisation promoting and supporting Needle and Syringe Programs. John Ryan is Chair of the Anex Needle and Syringe Programs in Prison Committee. The forum was organised by Families and Friends for Drug Law Reform. Listen to audio >> introduction, speech, questions & discussion.
From the point of view of injecting drug users and the community as a whole, there are overwhelming public health reasons in favour of needle and syringe programs (NSPs) in prisons. This forum focussed not on this but on the cause of most reluctance to introduce a NSP in the new ACT prison when it opens in a few months time, namely concern for the safety of staff.
There are strong reasons to believe that in fact a NSP in prisons would eliminate the substantial number of needle stick injuries which occur during searches.
The following paper gives background information on the position of the ACT Government and Corrections on the issue. Find paper here >>>