August 22, 2012
Families and Friends for Drug Law Reform is calling on South Australia to follow the example of the Australian Capital Territory and introduce a prison-based needle-exchange program. FFDLR's SA representative, Sandra Kanck, said the National Hepatitis C Strategy has recommended that state governments identify opportunities to trial NEPs in prison, and "The ACT has taken up the opportunity, while SA has buried its head in the sand." She said that the SA Department of Correctional Services had rejected such a move, citing "the old myth" that an NEP would endanger prison staff. "FFDLR challenges Correctional Services to come up with proof of that claim -- they will not be able to because there is no such proof," she said. "It's a reality that prisoners get hold of drugs in our prison system and, because of the sharing of needles, hepatitis C is also shared."