May 19, 2018

“Slippery slope” leads to free needles for drug addicted inmates

David MenziesMission Specialist

 

On Friday’s episode of Rebel Roundup, Sheila Gunn Reid joined me to discuss how it came to be that Correctional Service Canada will begin handing out free needles to drug addicted prisoners next month.

If you thought prison might be the ideal place to shake your drug addiction and turn your life around, our government and the advocacy groups that pressure them, don’t agree.

Watch as Sheila explains how this came to pass and why taxpayers are now on the hook for this latest slide down the slippery slope.

Comments
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commented 2018-05-22 08:18:53 -0400
Andrew, you missed the whole point of food addictions and alcoholism. So in your world, only junkies get to feed their addiction in prison, on the tax payers back.

Aren’t you concerned the alcoholics who make toilet wine could get very sick from drinking this concoction? Hepatitis can be spread from sharing bottles, utensils etc….Wouldn’t it make sense in your world to give them proper distilling equipment and ingredients?

The government advocacy group argued it was a Charter right to receive needles…..

Keith and Helen Harvey, good post.
commented 2018-05-22 05:13:32 -0400
It’s almost funny. You’re in prison getting free needles, provided and paid for by the government
(the taxpayers), so you have what you need in order to use your illegally smuggled into prison drugs. And in many a case these inmates are in prison because they were sent there because of drug charges. Great idea really, initiating an incentive for people to actually want to go to jail for, free needles and eventually free drugs, you know that’s next, to think otherwise is to deny reality. I thought you went to prison to be punished for something terrible that you committed? But it’s starting to look like whether you are in prison or at home you can continue the life you lived that got you into trouble to start with. How about these guys being required to clean up and get off of drugs while in prison, learn how to behave like a civilized member of society. When they get out of prison and continue with their evil ways, we the taxpayers will be to blame for them not getting truly rehabilitated. So now we are in the business of making drug dependent felons. The Liberal Left Wing Philosophy, “What’s Right is Wrong and What’s Wrong is Right.”
commented 2018-05-21 22:28:07 -0400
“Tammie Putinski-Zandbelt commented 3 hours ago
Nope!
I’d rather subsidize other things. Paying for a junkies high isn’t one of them. Prison officials need to do a better job at keeping PRISON drug-free. Turing an area of the prison into a shooting gallery with free drugs and needles seems over the top and most dangerous. The majority of Canadians would have a problem with all of this. Junkies would totally support you Andrew. You seem to have forgotten the alcoholics….what’s your solution for them?”

They’re already shooting up, you’re not making things worse by reducing re-use of needles. HIV transmission remains the primary concern here. Alcoholics don’t give each other HIV by sharing bottles.

“Here’s a wonky nugget you posted:
“If that means temporarily subsidiing drug use so that they don’t get HIV in the meantime, then so be it. The long term outcomes are far better when you think beyond the next two weeks”.

I guess years in your mind translates to “temporarily subsidizing”. How do you manage in this life Andrew?"

A personal attack? Yawn. Call me when you can refute my argument. If you don’t push it underground then it’s easier to reach them for help. Needles are cheaper than antiretrovirals – both of which the taxpayer eventually pays for – by orders of magnitude.

“Oh, so should the warden give condoms to the rapey inmates? I mean, they could interpret this to mean they have permission to anally rape other prisoners! What you subsidize, you encourage Andrew.”

They already make condoms available, a policy in response to high levels of HIV transmission. This is not a new policy.

“What about people who are morbidly obese with food addictions….do we give them 4 or five trays at each meal so they can continue to ingest 8000+ calories at time. Is that a charter right too?”

Strawman. You don’t get HIV from sharing dinner plates.
commented 2018-05-21 19:33:30 -0400
Anyway Andrew, whatever you are on is really taking it’s toll!
commented 2018-05-21 19:33:04 -0400
You were advocating paying for their drugs as well as needles, using the old cement argument. Then you have the nerve to post “The choices here aren’t subsidizing drug use vs not subsidizing drug use – false dichotomy.”
commented 2018-05-21 19:29:07 -0400
Nope!
I’d rather subsidize other things. Paying for a junkies high isn’t one of them. Prison officials need to do a better job at keeping PRISON drug-free. Turing an area of the prison into a shooting gallery with free drugs and needles seems over the top and most dangerous. The majority of Canadians would have a problem with all of this. Junkies would totally support you Andrew. You seem to have forgotten the alcoholics….what’s your solution for them?

Here’s a wonky nugget you posted:
“If that means temporarily subsidiing drug use so that they don’t get HIV in the meantime, then so be it. The long term outcomes are far better when you think beyond the next two weeks”.

I guess years in your mind translates to “temporarily subsidizing”. How do you manage in this life Andrew?

Oh, so should the warden give condoms to the rapey inmates? I mean, they could interpret this to mean they have permission to anally rape other prisoners! What you subsidize, you encourage Andrew.

What about people who are morbidly obese with food addictions….do we give them 4 or five trays at each meal so they can continue to ingest 8000+ calories at time. Is that a charter right too?
commented 2018-05-21 16:25:51 -0400
The choices here aren’t subsidizing drug use vs not subsidizing drug use – false dichotomy. You’re subsidizing something either way, and one of those options is enormously more expensive than the other, in both financial and human costs.

Taxpayers should expect their money to be used to provide the best possible outcomes, as we all have a financial interest in it. Reflexive rejection of an option based upon pure emotion is not a way to evaluate that. If that means temporarily subsidiing drug use so that they don’t get HIV in the meantime, then so be it. The long term outcomes are far better when you think beyond the next two weeks.
commented 2018-05-21 13:58:53 -0400
Downtown Ottawa is what I’m referring to.
commented 2018-05-21 13:51:05 -0400
Sorry Miss Stephenson, you’re still short sighted.
You are assuming I care about drugs being cut with cement, I don’t.
I also don’t experience any sadness should their choice of using drugs in prison hastens their death. Prisons being run under your direction would create a whole lot of chaos and tax payers should not be expected to subsidize their drug use or supply them with drug paraphernalia. Same as I don’t believe supplying the alcoholics with Jim Beam or alcohol distilling equipment for their cell or common area.
Provide proper detoxification and treatment, self -help group and that’s it. The rest of it is Liberalism run amok.

Safe injection sites in Ottawa are greatly hampering business and tourism. Now, the Ottawa Police Service are increasing their foot patrol unit to try and deal with aggressive junkies breaking the law and robbing people.
commented 2018-05-21 12:20:44 -0400
“Tammie Putinski-Zandbelt commented 21 hours ago
Short sighted liberals don’t consider the legal implications of providing drug paraphernalia to prisoners. So, when one of the jailhouse addicts overdoses, his/her family conceivably could sue the government for contributing to the death of their loved one by giving them the tools to use illegal drugs. "
You could argue the other way, as well, that if someone catches HIV from used needles, a problem that is incredibly easily alleviated, the prison system might be liable for negligence. In reality if they’re doing drugs, they’re gong to do them whether or not the prison approves.

Another scenario, say you have a addict with HIV or Hepatitis C or a myriad of other diseases; who also happens to be a psychopath who decides to fill his government issued syringe with his blood and inject it into another prisoner he has a beef with, or refuses to have sex with him etc…..so the prisoner who has nothing to do with drugs and arrived to serve his sentence in a healthy state, was infected with a disease using government property. Another potential for a lawsuit."

That’s why they want to provide needles, actually. Because as it stands right now, they re-use needles and spread the diseases.

You don’t need a “needle” per se to threaten someone with HIV positive blood. Blood to blood contact is how it transmits and any old shiv can be used to do the same thing.

“Tammie Putinski-Zandbelt commented 21 hours ago
Short sighted liberals don’t consider the legal implications of providing drug paraphernalia to prisoners. So, when one of the jailhouse addicts overdoses, his/her family conceivably could sue the government for contributing to the death of their loved one by giving them the tools to use illegal drugs. "

“Tammie Putinski-Zandbelt commented 21 hours ago
Andrew, you once again misunderstood the post. I’m referring to digital body scanning.

Where can you buy a box of needles for $5.00 ?

Contraband is being smuggled in by various sources, including corrupt Corrections Officers and Prison Officials. Clean sweeps of these individuals can take place. Digital scanning and in some cases, the thought of being scanned can greatly reduce the population of smugglers of all stripes. "

Keyword here is “greatly reduce”. Not “eliminate”. They already do screen out likely mules.

Maybe not five – I was thinking of the needles themselves – but syringes wholesale for under a dime each.

“Tammie Putinski-Zandbelt commented 21 hours ago
Next, you will be advocating for tax payers to buy the drugs for the prisoners, “shouldn’t the prisoners be guaranteed a safer drug to inject…street drugs are cut with other things and well, the prisoner is now at risk of injecting something other than illegal drugs in his prison cell.” "

They should be doing that as well, for a few reasons. Again, some inmate shoots up with cement powder or something and ends up dead, is a far worse outcome than letting them get high with clean stuff. Second, it lets you know who’s using, making it far easier to reach them than if they’re doing it surreptitiously. Also a psychological element as well – if the prison makes it clear that they’re not going to chuck you in solitary for using drugs, you might actually not be afraid to seek help. Same principle as behind safe injection sites.
commented 2018-05-20 23:03:59 -0400
Dana, funny how advocates of “free syringes to prisoners” refuse to consider how they can be used as weapons, against other prisoners and prison staff.

Wow, drugs in close proximity to the Warden…hmmmmm!
commented 2018-05-20 16:46:21 -0400
You are quite right Tammie, I would almost guarantee that these syringes will be used as weapons, as someone who has first hand knowledge of Kingston and Warkworth (a family member), this is not going to solve anything. Better off to offer Rehab for those interested in remaining clean.
At one point they actually located drugs under a chair in the warden’s council room next to his office at Warkworth Pen. Makes you wonder who would have access…
commented 2018-05-20 15:19:15 -0400
Short sighted liberals don’t consider the legal implications of providing drug paraphernalia to prisoners. So, when one of the jailhouse addicts overdoses, his/her family conceivably could sue the government for contributing to the death of their loved one by giving them the tools to use illegal drugs.

Another scenario, say you have a addict with HIV or Hepatitis C or a myriad of other diseases; who also happens to be a psychopath who decides to fill his government issued syringe with his blood and inject it into another prisoner he has a beef with, or refuses to have sex with him etc…..so the prisoner who has nothing to do with drugs and arrived to serve his sentence in a healthy state, was infected with a disease using government property. Another potential for a lawsuit.

Or maybe, the government issued syringe can be modified into a weapon, to maim another prisoner in the eye, mouth , who knows where else. Another lawsuit possibility.
commented 2018-05-20 15:02:06 -0400
Additionally, all items sold in the Commissary should be scanned too. Visitors cannot bring purses or bags into the prison. All prison staff have their bags and briefcases scanned in addition to body scanning. Lawyers too.
commented 2018-05-20 14:54:24 -0400
Next, you will be advocating for tax payers to buy the drugs for the prisoners, “shouldn’t the prisoners be guaranteed a safer drug to inject…street drugs are cut with other things and well, the prisoner is now at risk of injecting something other than illegal drugs in his prison cell.”

Leftists are forever moving the goal posts….free needles now for prisoners….free drugs a year from now. It’s not right.
commented 2018-05-20 14:50:04 -0400
Andrew, you once again misunderstood the post. I’m referring to digital body scanning.

Where can you buy a box of needles for $5.00 ?

Contraband is being smuggled in by various sources, including corrupt Corrections Officers and Prison Officials. Clean sweeps of these individuals can take place. Digital scanning and in some cases, the thought of being scanned can greatly reduce the population of smugglers of all stripes. Also, how about banning visitors for a period of time who are scanned and found to be “holding”? They get a six month vacation from visiting anyone in the prison. Maybe the police can also lay a charge – intent to distribute perhaps?!!
commented 2018-05-20 14:18:01 -0400
And how many six figure guards and administrators will this crackdown require in an already shortfunded prison system, relative to a five dollar box of needles? They already do it to the best of their ability, but it’s practically impossible to catch 100%. The contraband runners are far nimbler than the bureaucracy that purports to stop them.

There is literally no way to catch 100% of it, short of extreme isolation measures that would likely not survive a human rights or constitutional challenge. Sometimes tolerance of “grey areas” is the best strategy, if your goal is the best overall outcome.
commented 2018-05-20 13:10:34 -0400
Now Andrew, if Corrections Officers; Prison Management; criminals starting their sentence and ALL visitors were scanned upon entering the prison, where would they hide contraband drugs and other things?
It’s not merely an ideal to say prisons should be drug-free, it can be a reality if there is the will to see happen.
commented 2018-05-20 09:59:07 -0400
“Tammie Putinski-Zandbelt commented 11 hours ago
Andrew, I don’t care if inmates reuse their smuggled needle along with their smuggled drugs. Prisons should be drug-free. Leftists would have us believe if it weren’t for drugs, many people wouldn’t be in prison in the first place…now leftists are saying give them needles to use drugs. Something doesn’t add up eh?! "

There’s that tricky gap between idealism and reality. Ideally, jails would be drug free. In reality, they’re not, and it’s virtually impossible to prevent all contraband from making it in. The internal economies of prison are surprisingly well developed – and limited supply makes safe usage too “expensive” for a typical inmate.

Remember, drug use will happen whether or not it’s officially sanctioned, the old nugget of “prohibition doesn’t work”. The idea of top-down elimination is great – in theory – but has never actually worked. Now, acknowledging that it will occur whether or not you want it to, we come down to “harm reduction”, which is to say, that bloodborne diseases transmitted by used needles are a far bigger consequence of drug use than the drugs themselves. Chemical dependency can be rehabilitated. HIV cannot.

Whether they should be in prison or not is a separate debate. Whether or not they should be, they are, and yes, this is often drug related in ways that are better addressed by other means (which is to say, using economics to undercut the black market and eliminate the associated crime is likely a more effective strategy than trying to legislate things out of existence. If you give the local addict the drugs for free, he doesn’t need to mug you or break into his car to get his next hit). I don’t see any hypocrisy – it’s possible to advocate for a certain policy while acknowledging what’s actually happening in the real world.

I believe the Ontario Liberals have proposed expanding OHIP to include diabetes supplies, having already included it for youth.
commented 2018-05-20 09:16:43 -0400
So I can get free needles for illegal drugs, in a place where the drugs are banned, and should not be available anyway, yet I can’t protect myself, family, or home from some of those same criminals? I know, the separation of the judiciary from politics, but that is obvious B.S. The judges ‘interpret’ the laws according to their own viewpoints resulting in decisions like this, and politicians never push back say ‘this is not what we, on behalf of Canadians, meant when we passed this law. It’s crazy.
commented 2018-05-20 02:51:44 -0400
Oh Hell!.. Let’s just “cut to the chase” and do what comes next… Not only provide clean needles but the drugs as well!… Everybody happy happy; everybody cool; everybody in druggie bliss… Why stay out of jail and go through the pretence of “rehab”?… Give that marijuana is the most common “gateway” drug to harder addiction, we are well on the way to that blissful scenario thanks to Socks Trudeau…
commented 2018-05-19 22:17:05 -0400
Andrew, I don’t care if inmates reuse their smuggled needle along with their smuggled drugs. Prisons should be drug-free. Leftists would have us believe if it weren’t for drugs, many people wouldn’t be in prison in the first place…now leftists are saying give them needles to use drugs. Something doesn’t add up eh?!

I would like diabetics to get free needles.
commented 2018-05-19 18:21:14 -0400
Gee, it’s almost like letting inmates re-use that one needle that got smuggled in six months ago, over and over again, is a really bad idea.
commented 2018-05-19 17:08:12 -0400
During the vast majority of sentencing hearings, defence counsel makes an impassioned plea for leniency citing his client’s drug dependency as the sole cause for the crook’s abhorrent behaviour.

Canada: old Iroquoian word for “land of foolish papoose”.