"Condom Scheme for Safe Jail Sex"
Mercury (12.12.03)::Rohan Wade
CDC HIV/STD/TB Prevention News Update
Wednesday, December 17, 2003
A proposal to put condom-vending
machines in Tasmanian
prisons is expected to be approved early next year. The
Department's blood-borne virus working party put forth the
proposal in an effort to ensure safe sex among inmates.
Hayes Prison Farm will be the first
to give inmates condoms,
coinciding with a need to house more than one prisoner to a
at the minimum-security facility. Tasmanian prisoners usually
a cell to themselves, but space restrictions forced officials
change the policy. The change raised concerns about a possible
increase in unprotected sex and a greater risk of STDs.
Prison Director Graeme Barber said a
draft of the proposal
was released to relevant health and prison workers for
consultation. Tasmanian Correctional Officers Association
Secretary Paul McGuire said his association was unhappy with
proposed move, saying it raised safety concerns for prison
workers. "There's the potential for [used] condoms to be
lying around, or for them to be thrown at officers, so we're
pleased about it," he said. However, McGuire said sex
inmates did happen and he realized authorities were trying to
address a serious health issue. He said drug use and needle
were two health issues the association felt should be solved
before supplying inmates with condoms.
Hayes Prison Farm may already
have a condom-vending
machine, but no condoms have yet been provided. The new Risdon
Prison, to be built around the existing jail next year, will
have condom-vending machines.