OTTAWA – Federal prison guards are warning that needle-exchange programs in penitentiaries pose them a health and safety risk.
Jason Godin, president of the Union of Canadian Correctional Officers, says the initiative clashes with long-stated principle of zero-tolerance policy on drugs and makes prisons riskier workplaces.
The federal prison service has already set up programs at two institutions to reduce the incidence of infectious diseases among inmates.
The initiative, to be rolled out to all federal prisons next year, will give inmates access to clean needles in an effort to limit the transmission of hepatitis C and HIV.
From 2007 to 2017, the prevalence of hepatitis C in prison reduced to 7.8 percent from 31.6 percent, while HIV dropped to 1.2 percent from just over two percent, according to federal statistics.
Copyright (c) 2017 The Canadian Press