August 26, 2011
Starting next week, authorities will begin distributing safe-sex kits to inmates in two men's prisons and two women's prisons in Victoria. "Condoms and dental dams can significantly reduce transmission of sexually transmitted infections and some blood-borne viruses," said Andrew McIntosh, corrections minister. "There are more than 5,000 prisoners who leave prison every year, so it is important to take steps to protect both prisoners and the community from infectious disease." The policy change comes five years after an ombudsman recommended it. "Evidence from other jurisdictions shows that condoms and dental dams have had no negative impacts to prison security and safety," McIntosh said. The products will be available at prison health centers, and inmates will be given information about safe-sex practices.