Adopting Measures To Combat The Spread Of Infectious Diseases In Prison

Original Language Title: Adopta medidas de combate a propagação de doenças infecto-contagiosas em meio prisional

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DRAFT law No. 110/X changes the law No. 170/99 of 18 September, ADOPTING MEASURES TO COMBAT the spread of infectious diseases in PRISON, report of the Office of the Ombudsman, on the prison system, published in 1996, was deeply worrying situation concerning the incidence of infectious diseases among inmates in prisons in Portugal. Among other issues addressed, this report gave good care of cause/effect relationship between the consumption of intravenous drugs and the spread of diseases like AIDS among prisoners, due to the common practice of needle sharing. With a view to taking urgent action and right to tackle the dramatic situation detected in prisons, Mr. Söderman recommended in the 1996 report "that the General Directorate of prison services carry out the feasibility studies of introduction in prisons of needle-exchange systems that reduce the risks of infection in prison". It's been almost 10 years and that needle-exchange program in prison has not been studied and therefore has not been implemented, despite the National action plan for combating drugs and drug addiction – horizon 2004, published in 2001, have referred to "promote the study for the possible installation, on a trial basis, needle exchange programs or aseptic consumption in some prisons". Since then, successive reports from the Ombudsman about the State of our prisons have insisted on that recommendation. In the latest report available, from 2003, it is resumed, under the form of appeal: "Accordingly, I appeal to your Excellency to ensure that at least seems to me to be actually required, promote the realization of studies reported on the introduction of needle exchange programs or assisted injection rooms in prison". However, there have been other studies that have been giving more details on drug use in prison, concluding the large percentage of population recluse who takes drugs in prisons and, in large numbers, intravenously, assuming many of the inmates who were part of the studies who share syringes. So complete a study of Anália Torres and Maria do Carmo Gomes, on drugs and prisons in Portugal, published in 2002. Also the program Evaluation study of Syringes-says no to a second-hand syringe ", commissioned by the National Commission to fight AIDS, says that if this needle-exchange program had been implemented in prisons would have avoided, between 1993 and 2001 at least 638 contaminations. However, it is known that the experience of needle exchange in prison has already been implemented in other countries, with positive results. There is a question that is recurrently raised, when discussing this issue, which has to do with the hazardous nature of the presence of syringes in prisons, which can turn into real weapons. To this argument it is necessary to counteract that our proposal is not to circulate freely syringes in prisons, but rather that they be distributed securely, in facility and immediately refunded after your use. In fact, the problem is that currently there are inmates who have been injecting in prison, which means that there is no movement, Exchange and use of syringes. Means that they are illegally in the possession of the prisoners and of the current situation, that Yes, the syringes may become a security threat. Will then be legitimate to ask: what are we waiting for? Do we or do we not have responsibility to intervene on dramatic situations and to seek to give them appropriate responses in order to minimize to the maximum all the risks? To avoid further delay, which necessarily will translate in more dramas, "the Greens" propose an amendment to Act No. 170/99 of 18 September, adopting measures to combat the spread of infectious diseases in prison (this law arose from a legislative initiative of "Greens" and which aimed to precisely implement a set of preventive measures and minimizadoras of risks to health in prisons). Now, for the third time in three separate legislatures (VIII, IX and X), the Group "Os Verdes" presents a draft law that aims to implement needle exchange in prison. It is in these terms that, under the constitutional provisions and regulations applicable, the Members of the parliamentary group "the Greens ' presents the following: single-Article DRAFT LAW Article 5a is added to Act No. 170/99 of 18 September, adopting measures to combat the spread of infectious and contagious diseases in prison, to be replaced by the following: ' article 5 the specific needle exchange Program 1. Under the risk reduction programmes and prevention of infectious and contagious diseases, provided for in the preceding article, the Ministry governing health in conjunction with the Ministry that guardianship justice create a specific programme of needle exchange in prison. 2. The specific programme for Exchange of syringes will be tried in a limited number of prisons, to be defined by joint decree of the Ministers with the supervision of health and justice, to be published within 3 months after the entry into force of this decree-law, and will be gradually, and with the necessary adaptations, extended to other prisons in the country. 3. With a view to defining and implementing needle exchange program the ministries referred to in the preceding paragraphs define the framework for your application by joint decree to be published no later than 3 months after the entry into force of this decree-law, which guarantee, inter alia, the following principles: a) the supply of syringes to drug addicts, drug-using inmates intravenously , aims not to needle sharing among recluse, in order to avoid contamination of infectious diseases. b) the supply of syringes is made to inmates drug addicts who require consumption protected, and with authorization from health services. c) consumption of narcotic drugs intravenously is done in magazines specifically prepared in prisons, ensuring privacy conditions, hygiene and safety. d) compartments referred to in the preceding paragraph shall be sterilized material and must be supported by health technicians. and) providing syringe to inmate drug addict is made at the entrance of the enclosure referred to in point (c)), being restored by the addict off the same. f) To con an addict that needs protected consumption are guaranteed medical assistance and, with consent of the addict, the your inclusion in a drug recovery program.»

Palácio de s. Bento, 6 June 2005 Members Heloísa Apolónia Francisco Madeira Lopes