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  • Best Practice for Overdose Prevention on the release from Prison

    Posted on October 10th, 2014 TimB No comments

    This ‘Fact Sheet’ reports on good practice models in four European Union (EU) countries – Scotland, Denmark, Italy and Spain (more specifically, the Catalonia region) – on overdose prevention and management programmes upon release from prison. The main findings are concluded with recommendations made regarding their relevance to the five target countries of the project: Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland and Romania.

    Information gathered includes programme descriptions; evidence of effectiveness; functioning; and involvement of people who use drugs. The methodology for collection and documentation of good practices is based on reports and guidance from leading organizations in the field such as the World Health Organization, European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction
    (EMCDDA) etc. This fact sheet is of particular relevance to prison staff, health care professionals and people who use drugs.

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  • Study on the prevalence of drug use, including intravenous drug use, and blood-borne viruses among the Irish prisoner population

    Posted on April 10th, 2014 TimB No comments

    Accurate up-to-date data on the extent of drug use and the prevalence of blood-borne viruses among the prisoner population are a necessary pre-requisite for health and social service planning and policy development. The most recent national study assessing the prevalence of blood-borne viruses, along with self-reported drug use within Irish prisons (Allwright et al., 1999), was carried out over a decade ago.

    This study was commissioned by the National Advisory Committee on Drugs (NACD)* in 2010 with the following objectives: to describe the nature, extent and pattern of consumption for different drugs among the prisoner population; to describe methods of drug use, including intravenous drug use, among the prisoner population; to estimate the prevalence of blood-borne viruses among the prisoner population and to identify associated risk behaviours; and to measure the uptake of individual drug treatment and harm reduction interventions (including hepatitis B vaccination) in prison.

    This study confirms that drug use, including injecting drug use, is a significant problem among prisoners in Ireland and suggests that drug-related factors are important in the acquisition of blood-borne viruses. The findings also show that prisoners who need services, such as the range of addiction services and detoxification, are very willing to use them when they are available. ‘In-prison’ uptake of testing and vaccination services confirms that prisons are appropriate settings for the provision of preventive, diagnostic and treatment services for drug users. It is hoped that the evidence provided in this study will facilitate service and policy development in this important area.

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  • Opioid substitution treatment in prison and post-release: Effects on criminal recidivism and mortality

    Posted on August 30th, 2011 TimB No comments

    Heroin dependence is a chronic condition associated with significant health and social harms. The most effective treatment for heroin dependence is opioid substitution treatment (OST), in which long-acting opioid medications such as methadone or buprenorphine are prescribed with the goal of reducing heroin use and associated harms. Internationally, OST is rarely available in prisons, despite the high proportion of heroin users among prisoners. Furthermore, limited research attention has been given to examining how prison-based OST can reduce the harms of heroin dependence. This thesis reports on two systematic literature reviews and three data linkage studies on the effects of prison-based and post-release OST

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  • Free heroin for prisoners

    Posted on January 4th, 2011 TimB No comments

    The federal inmates may well be entitled to free heroin if the recommendations of a group of MPs were adopted. The government is not very hot by cons to this idea. Far from it.

    The Standing Committee on Public Safety and National of Commons recently issued a report calling the “lesser evil” which suggests, among other things, improve access to illicit drugs and syringes in prisons.

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  • Criticism levelled at conditions in Limerick Prison

    Posted on December 7th, 2010 TimB No comments

    Limerick Prison came for criticism in the Irish Prison Chaplains Annual Report 2010, citing that it was originally built for 185 prisoners, but on July 23 last, 322 prisoners were detained. The report said that some Irish prisons were noted as “inhumane and degrading.

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  • Report on an Inspection of Mountjoy Prison by the Inspector of Prisons

    Posted on October 23rd, 2010 TimB No comments

    The purpose of this report is to give a factual overview of Mountjoy Prison covering 8 months from my initial unannounced visit on 25th and 26th of November 2008 to my last visit on the 2nd July 2009. During that time I visited the prison on 11 occasions. These visits were both announced and unannounced and took place during the day and at night.

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  • Recently Released Prisoner deaths in Ireland, 1998 to 2005

    Posted on July 5th, 2010 TimB No comments

    The aim of this study was to investigate deaths following release from prison among individuals recorded on the National Drug-Related Deaths Index (NDRDI). A descriptive analysis of individuals with a history of imprisonment in the NDRDI from 1998 to 2005 was undertaken. Between 1998 and 2005, 130 (5.3%) of the recorded cases had a documented history of imprisonment, 105 of whom were not in prison at the time of their death. Of these 105, 89% were male, 62% were aged between 20 and 29 years, 84% were unemployed, and 10% were homeless. Almost two thirds (61%) had a history of injecting drug use, and 34% were reported to be injecting at the time of their death. Almost one third (28.1%) of the deaths occurred within the first week of release from prison, with a further 18%
    in the first month. Opiates were implicated in 89% of all poisonings in the first month after release from prison. Additionally, 62% of these poisonings involved polysubstance use. The study highlights the need for more intensive prevention measures in the period immediately following release from Irish prisons, including the development of a national overdose prevention strategy.

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  • Australia:Prisoners should have needle exchange

    Posted on June 22nd, 2010 TimB No comments

    Needle exchange programs should be introduced in Victoria’s prisons to reduce the transmission of blood-borne viruses, the Australian Medical Association’s Victorian president says.Dr Harry Hemley said needle exchange programs in the wider community had significantly reduced the spread of Hepatitis C and other blood-borne viruses.

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  • ‘Brutal’ conditions foster drug use, says Mountjoy governor

    Posted on May 13th, 2010 TimB No comments

    Mountjoy  governor John Lonergan has said overcrowding in the jail is now so acute and the conditions so “brutal” and “appalling” that they foster inmate drug use rather than help break drug addiction.

    He has announced his decision to retire next month, three years early, after 26 years as prison governor.

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  • Heroin Addicts to be given clean needles when they are released from custody

    Posted on March 26th, 2010 TimB No comments

    Plans to provide clean needles to criminals when they are released from custody could shortly be rolled out across Northamptonshire, police have said.

    Under the pioneering Needle Exchange Programme, which is to be launched as a pilot in Corby and Wellingborough police stations, drug addicts would be offered the chance to swap used needles for clean ones after they have been arrested.

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