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Needles for prison drug addicts: Blewett

OZ Stoners

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This is a very interesting topic and it was hotly debated when MSIC was being proposed, and still debated once it was established.


Just like those times you've got your hardcore anti-drug people and you've got the others who would rather see it as a way of limiting the spread of diseases like HepC, HIV and others.


The difference here is that KIngs Cross was an open environment and MSIC was implemented because some of the politicians realised that the policing the drug problem only pushes the addicts into other regions. It doesn't stop them, just like the US's war on drugs, they'll just end up in someone else's jurisdiction.


With prisons you've got a captive society and most of the general public believe that they're there to be rehabilitated however people are starting to realise that it's not necessarily that way most of the time.


Therefore, you've got a situation where prisoners aren't reforming and will try to get their drug of choice in any way possible. Many prisoners do contract diseases like HepC out of desperation from using used needles in prison and it's come to this point where obviously some politicians have realised this and are taking the only option they can think of. The same model as MSIC.


Whether it's the right move or not will always be debated, we won't get a clear answer from anyone here but a healthy discussion with reasonable opinions would be great because none of us are right about everything but someone may give you a side to the debate which you never realised before.


Personally, as much as it sounds like a bad move, we need to do what we can to limit the spread of HepC and HIV, etc but until someone comes up with an alternative, this is the next step unfortunately and we need to see if it works before we make a decision as to whether it's right or not.


MSIC had a positive impact on the Cross and it resonates still today. It was mostly immediately cleaner after MSIC was introduced and the community appreciates it's presence. If it didn't work then it wouldn't have lasted over 10 years until now.


Whether a similar model will work in an enclosed environment like a prison, is yet to be determined but with the current state of affairs, there's no harm in trying.



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