The Body: The Complete HIV/AIDS Resource
Follow Us Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Download Our App 
Professionals >> Visit The Body PROThe Body en Espanol
  • Email Email
  • Comments Comments
  • Printable Single-Page Print-Friendly
  • Glossary Glossary

International News

Australian Capital Territory Prison Workers Fight Needle Exchange

May 9, 2011

A prison officers' union recently voted against a proposed trial of a needle-exchange program in a Canberra jail. The Australian Capital Territory government is considering a pilot NEP at the Alexander Maconochie Center in response to inmate drug use.


At a May 4 meeting in Canberra, prison officer members of the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) unanimously agreed to oppose the trial. An NEP would make life more difficult in an already very dangerous job, members said.

"Effectively, prisoners will be given weapons that they can use against staff," Vince McDevitt, regional CPSU director, said in a statement.

Staff members at the center said it would only be a matter of time before inmate access to needles would lead to an attack or death. In New South Wales, a prison worker attacked with a needle later died of AIDS, they noted.

The government is still awaiting findings of a review being conducted by former territorial Health Minister Michael Moore. That review will address how an NEP pilot might be implemented. An earlier government-commissioned report on the center recommended an NEP trial.

Unions are calling for improved case management and more therapeutic programs for drug-dependent inmates. Jails also need to do a better job of confiscating drug paraphernalia, they note.

Back to other news for May 2011

Adapted from:
Australian Associated Press

  • Email Email
  • Comments Comments
  • Printable Single-Page Print-Friendly
  • Glossary Glossary

This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
See Also
Ask Our Expert, David Fawcett, Ph.D., L.C.S.W., About Substance Use and HIV
More on Needle Exchange Programs in Australia

No comments have been made.

Add Your Comment:
(Please note: Your name and comment will be public, and may even show up in
Internet search results. Be careful when providing personal information! Before
adding your comment, please read's Comment Policy.)

Your Name:

Your Location:

(ex: San Francisco, CA)

Your Comment:

Characters remaining: