Regarding Rights

Academic and activist perspectives on human rights


Leave a comment

A human rights assessment of the proposed needle and syringe exchange program in Canberra’s prison

By Anita Mackay

Monash University

Original photo by Todd Huffman at flikr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/99287245@N00/2344377068

Original photo by Todd Huffman at flikr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/99287245@N00/2344377068

The ACT government has announced the introduction of a needle and syringe exchange program for the Alexander Maconochie Centre (AMC) as a method for reducing the spread of blood-borne viruses.  This is a contentious proposal that faces a degree of opposition, including from prison officers and nurses.  If it goes ahead, the ACT would become the first jurisdiction in Australia to have such a program in a prison.  This post considers some of the arguments in favour of, and against, the proposal from a human rights perspective.  It concludes that a needle and syringe exchange program, if implemented in a manner that is informed by overseas experience, would be consistent with the human rights of both prisoners and prison officers. 

Continue reading

Advertisements


Leave a comment

Centre for International Governance and Justice: News and Events

Sally Engle Merry Visiting

Sally Engle Merry

Sally Merry, Adjunct Professor at RegNet and Professor of Anthropology in the Institute for Law and Society at New York University, returns to the CIGJ next week. On Tuesday she will present a seminar considering how the soft power of international human rights law is hardened through the use of quantitative performance measures.

A human rights assessment of the proposed needle and syringe exchange program in Canberra’s prison

Next week’s post, written by Anita Mackay – a recent visitor at the CIGJ – considers the human rights implications of the needle and syringe exchange program which the ACT government wants to introduce in Canberra’s Alexander Maconochie prison. The program aims to reduce the spread of blood-borne viruses in the prison, where up to 65% of inmates have Hepatitis C and there is evidence to suggest some prisoners contracted the virus while in prison.