Canceled Canadian Prison Tattoo Program Reduced Risk of HIV, Report Says
April 17, 2009
A Canadian prison tattoo parlor program that was canceled by the government was cost-effective and successful in raising awareness and reducing the risk of bloodborne diseases such as HIV and hepatitis C, according to a new report from the Correctional Service of Canada, the Alberta Daily Herald-Tribune reports. The 70-page report -- dated January 2009 but just publicly released -- said that early results of the federal pilot program "indicate potential to reduce harm, reduce exposure to health risk, and enhance the health and safety of staff members, inmates and the general public." The program -- which cost about one million Canadian dollars, or about $820,000 -- was launched at six federal prisons across Canada in 2005 but was canceled by then Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day in 2006. According to the Herald-Tribune, the move was hailed by some taxpayers and other groups but condemned by prisoners' advocates, who argued the decision was made based on ideology rather than pragmatism.
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