Pubdate: Fri, 19 Nov 2004
Source: Province, The (CN BC)
Copyright: 2004 The Province
Author: Canadian Press
Bookmark: (Hepatitis)
Bookmark: (Needle Exchange)


OTTAWA -- The federal prisons ombudsman says Public Safety Minister Anne 
McLellan should order the establishment of needle-exchange programs in 

Howard Sapers, officially known as the correctional investigator, said in 
his annual report yesterday that the Correctional Service of Canada has 
ignored such recommendations for years.

Sapers turned directly to McLellan this year.

He said drug use is rampant in prisons (in some places three-quarters of 
inmates inject drugs) and clean-needle programs would reduce the spread of 
diseases like hepatitis C and HIV.

"It's not a question of whether we condone it or not condone it," he said. 
"This is a public-health issue," since infected inmates eventually get 
released into the community.

His report also said McLellan should order the correctional service to 
appoint a deputy commissioner for aboriginal inmates and to change a policy 
that automatically makes prisoners sentenced to life serve their first two 
years in maximum security, regardless of the risk they pose.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Terry Liittschwager