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“The only thing necessary for these diseases to the triumph is for good people and governments to do nothing.”


"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 Justice
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 cell
at the minimum-security facility. Tasmanian prisoners usually get
a cell to themselves, but space restrictions forced officials to
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 the
proposed move, saying it raised safety concerns for prison
workers. "There's the potential for [used] condoms to be left
lying around, or for them to be thrown at officers, so we're not
pleased about it," he said. However, McGuire said sex between
inmates did happen and he realized authorities were trying to
address a serious health issue. He said drug use and needle use
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 also
have condom-vending machines.