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Old 06-17-2019, 07:02 PM
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Default General question about IV drugs in prison

I did not post this in the Canada - related area as a Swiss prison has a similar program. Do you know of any other prisons that offer safe injection sites or needle exchange? Are there members here with information about this in general?

Please know that I am not asking this question to turn into a debate about harm reduction or whether these programs should be allowed in prison. Please do not take it there.

My concern rests with the rules. If some one can get into serious trouble for contraband or having drugs on their person / in their cell, how does a safe injection site work? It would mean the inmate knowingly has contraband, uses it in front of a correctional officer and not face repercussions? If not punished, how does this extend to other sorts of drugs or those inmates not using at the supervised injection site?

Could someone explain how this works to me? I see discussion over whether it should be allowed or not but no discussion of prison rules. Really do apologize if this is a dumb question.

I understand that drugs will come into prison no matter what and addicted inmates will continue to use. But, how does this framework influence rules that have been strongly in place for a long time?
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Old 06-17-2019, 07:12 PM
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I have not read anything in regard to prisons using this as a step down treatment. I know cities are looking into it as a way to treat, control, and stop ODs. Here they give methadone just like someone who is getting their blood pressure medication. They did this in city. I believe the state is looking at legislation to do the same thing.

Overall, it is a way at looking at it differently. Some see it as enabling. Others see it as taking the shame a way and building trust, so people are hiding in the shadows and dying.

In a prison, it would have to be a program I believe overseen by medical staff. I dont think it would be on the fly per say. It needs to be followed with intensive therapy and possibly steps to wean off. I have to look at Portugal's reports because they have had the most success overall.

I love learning about alternative ideas other countries use to help people. I'm curious to see what others say.
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Old 06-17-2019, 07:31 PM
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Yes, working in public health, I have some knowledge of community based programs and what they do. The prison aspect is in the news a lot now cause Canada plans to have a supervised injection site @ at a federal prison very soon.

A spokesperson of the correctional service says that the drugs will be contraband as the government will not be providing them. Thus, I wonder about the contraband rules and how exceptions will be made. Obviously I do not want people’s loved ones dying from overdoses but, wondering how this will work out.
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Old 06-17-2019, 07:33 PM
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Sounds counterintuitive
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Old 06-17-2019, 07:50 PM
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There are obviously [ government supported ] methadone programs but there seems to be little discussion of internal policy. I understand that the recognition that drugs will make it into the facility is absolutely true but I wonder if now the administration will split hairs over who gets reprimanded. Small amounts for personal use will be fine? Sigh, above my pay grade to figure this out. Maybe some one with knowledge of the Swiss framework can pipe in.

Here is a link though. A mod can format it better & according to rules.
https://nationalpost.com/news/canada...injection-site
While needle exchanges in prisons have been around for a long time in other countries — Switzerland has had one since 1992 — the system in Canada is relatively new. A pilot project began in this country’s federal prison system in June 2018 at the Grand Valley Institution in Ontario and Atlantic Institution in New Brunswick. As of 2018, Correctional Service Canada estimated 1.2 per cent of inmates had HIV, a rate approaching 10 times that of the general population, where 65,000 of 37 million Canadians have HIV, according to the Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research.

Last edited by miamac; 06-20-2019 at 12:12 PM.. Reason: added content to conform to PTO policy
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Old 06-20-2019, 06:56 AM
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We have a zero policy for drugs in the prison where I work at. There would be no such thing as a needle exchange. Generally injected drugs are not used in my prison, most of what is used is smoked or ingested, not injected. Needles are very, very hard to come buy and unless its a homemade tattoo needle they are almost never found in contraband.
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Old 06-20-2019, 12:17 PM
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Sexual activity isn't permissible inside prisons but there are those that have made condoms available with a no-questions-asked policy attached. It was a harm-reduction decision there, too.

The needle wouldn't be possessed outside of the safe-site, so that seems like a good thing. But they would need to provide their own drug if they follow the community-based models. That seems problematic from a disciplinary point of view.

I've been admiring CANs program for a while. Philly is trying to copy it and last I heard ran into similiar legal issues-- how to provide partial services without running afoul with federal law. I'm a proponent inside and out so this is an interesting question!
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Old 06-20-2019, 01:43 PM
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I should have explained myself better. My apologies. The needle exchange aspect is not new but rather, my question rests with the supervised injection site in the prison.

The correctional service already acknowledged the drugs [ used for injection at the safe site] will be contraband. The attached article noted that near the end. As mia said, that’s problematic from a disciplinary point of view. Unless inmates at that particular institution have more information than what is out here, it sounds like a mess for prison rules. Who gets repercussions for contraband and who doesn’t, you know?

Based off some harm reduction research, not all drug users feel comfortable using safe injection sites if they feel stigma or whatever reason. And so, I am really stretching here, but if inmates who make use of the safe injection site are given leeway for contraband, what happens to the ones who choose to inject elsewhere? Especially, with health care workers watching, who are in turn, being watched by CO’s. That seems intimidating.

My husband isn’t a drug user nor is he at the federal prison where this program will be. It doesn’t apply to us. But, there is a big issue with contraband where he is at. Like I said, I do not want anyone’s loved ones to die of an overdose, but it seems incongruous that I fear the ion scanner for specks of who - knows - what while the system says „ o well, can’t stop all contraband so use it safely.” I understand that too : drugs will always find a way in and they are going to be used if they get in.

Will it be a case of more lockdowns / searches to prevent the use of contraband BUT what slips through can be used? Will there be more investigations of those that seem to have larger quantities [ supplier / seller inside] and they face repercussions while those with personal use are immune? So many questions!

I would rather people be safe but, too, like to know how this open use of contraband will amend rules. It is not the site I question but the accepted open use of contraband in regard to rules.

And how does this coincide with those trying to stop addiction to IV drugs, as in, in a program, within the prison? Obviously that is a personal decision and they have to choose to stay clean, but temptation requires lots of will - power, especially when combating a disease.

This isn’t my area of public health but I hope some new information comes out. I am only wondering what disciplinary framework would work in such a situation. It escapes me!
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Old 06-20-2019, 02:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ne Plach’ View Post
And how does this coincide with those trying to stop addiction to IV drugs, as in, in a program, within the prison? Obviously that is a personal decision and they have to choose to stay clean, but temptation requires lots of will - power, especially when combating a disease.
From what I've read, the safe sites that have injection supervision and 12-step or other therapeutic methods at the same site and encourage non-discriminatory practices, they see a good number (don't have a stat at hand) of users transition to the clean side. They're exposed to clean living mentality without being pressured to see it, they frequently know/have friends who are utilizing the clean side because safe sites are neighborhood based. So that element of peer encouragement and realism is there.

It doesn't solve the legality aspect, but I think we've seen historically that anything we push out of the light and attach heavier stigma to will inherently generate maladaptive practices. Drugs leading to theft leading to sex trade leading to unhoused populations, ect. In prison, obviously the dynamics change. So someone using the safe site is supervised, a marked drug user, perhaps immune to contraband charges (I don't know that) and exposed to healthier alternatives by non-judgemental staff. In that scenario, the risk is being known. But if that becomes normalized, what else might grow from that?


Link to 2018 article around Philadelphia's safe site project.
...and sadly a 2019 article about a legal block to the project. :/

Last edited by miamac; 06-20-2019 at 02:07 PM..
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Old 06-20-2019, 02:24 PM
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Thank you for that insightful comment, mia! It agree that the site [within prison] could act as a transitional point for those who later seek to go clean. They would come „ out of the shadows ” and be exposed to information that could help them. It is an excellent point that escaped my mind. As you say, it doesn’t solve the legality of it, and how repercussions will be handed out, but it is a positive.

Perhaps once the program is launched [ soon - ish ], there will be an update to how the situation can be managed. As for what comes next once we lift the veil of stigma, I think, once „ amended rules ” come out [ as they should ] we can point our fingers in the air for direction. But what is that direction? Allowing cigarettes? How about we catch up to you guys for tablets and internet first!

To be honest, it is EXTREMELY difficult to have a conversation — even with those who are linked to the correctional system in some way — about this topic. All the old rhetoric of, „ prisoners get T.V., pay pennies for cable, video games, a roof over their head and meals, now they can use drugs! Prison is supposed to be tough & change your life!” + the comments „ worried about inmate safety? What about public safety!” comes back strong. So, thank you for the opportunity to discuss in an civilized & educated manner. [onedayatatime, as well]
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Old 06-28-2019, 03:11 PM
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The safe injection site @ a CDN federal prison opened this week. According to the story, no inmates have used the service yet. That is understandable: it will require some time to get used to & a shift in thinking.

Reading between the lines, it seems just those registered to the program & using the site won’t face punishment. The other rules [ re: infractions] would still stand I guess. Could be an impetus to get more to move toward that framework. As I said a lot on this thread, I am interested in the „ rules aspect ” of all this.

Participants using the service will be allowed to use self-supplied substances,” a spokesperson for the Correctional Service of Canada told Global News in an email.
https://globalnews.ca/news/5441950/a...-site-inmates/

Moderators, please fix the link if it is not according to copyright rules. I tried?!
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