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SOC309Y1 Lecture Notes - Uptodate, Clinical Urine Tests, Condom

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Robb Travers

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Harm Reduction and Prisoners’ Rights in Ontario Correctional Institutions
SOC309Y1- November 24, 2011
Mooky Cherian,
- Good Evidence- making mini documentaries reflecting work Mooky Cherian does with
- Realities of prison, trying to access treatment
- Mooky coordinating provincial program outside GTA- now in management position
Good Evidence video
- Tim editor of cell count their paper
- Prisoners HIV / AIDS
- Some prisons have the resources while some have nothing
- PASAN- tries to make better of a shitty situation all about empowerment and
addressing injustice, not a pity party
40% of prison population Hepatitis C
10% are HIV positive
Being in prison with HIV is horrible no one would want to share stuff you used if you tell
guards they discriminate you
HIV prisoners never been at forefront of AIDS agenda Rai apparently they see it as a
punishment, a lot of time we do not think of prisoners health as a human rights issue
- Cell Counts are educational
- Wardens are above Canadian law and can ban anything may see it as gang related
material, say offensive, may not let it in, but really may be an excuse, they do not like
“harm reduction”
- Zero tolerance of sex, tattooing etc. in prisons but Mooky says it is not working via
looking at HIV prevalence rates are going up! So we have to make sure people make
informed choices
- Prisoners believe harm reduction saves people’s lives + education, awareness it brings,
clean needles and proper/clean materials
PASAN teaches people, ex- prisoners new things and informative things… staff is also HIV
positive (some) because it gives people help from people who have navigated the system
Re-integration/ drop in coordinator make sure they have the things they need to transition
smoothly so they do not end up back in jail

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- Clients have to call Mooky need to keep calling to reach him because it is impossible
for him to reach them
- Cold calls maybe not HIV positive but requires help about maybe a friend who has it
they accept collect calls from any institution (PASAN)
- Infection rates are high in jails because of little or less harm reduction
- PASAN has over 600 active clients who utilize services
“This work breathes more resentment against the system” – Mooky
Prisoners’ HIV/AIDS Support Action Network (PASAN)- many programs
1. Providing prisoners with prevention and transmission information and support for
HIV/HCV and related issues within a prison context
2. Providing support and advocacy for HIV/HCV positive prisoners to ensure they are
receiving the healthcare that they are entitled
3. Promoting an integrated approach to healthcare within prisons to tackle wider public
health issues, both through improvements in health care in general and through
improvements in general prison conditions, policies and management
4. Increasing community-based agency capacity through training and consultation to
effectively meet the needs of HIV-positive people who are affected by incarceration
- PASAN has education programs in prisoners for those not affected by HIV but want to
learn, mental health etc. Thus groups look very different depending on audience.
Registered- HIV positive and currently incarcerated or past incarceration
- Try to form partnerships with Corrections wherever possible (according to PASAN) to
work on developing health care policy with them that negatively impacts people in health
care system
- PASAN also does a lot of lectures, seminars, training even broad- very unique program
as it is the only one like it
- -houses people serving sentences 2 years less a day
- houses people on remand or detention, including immigration, awaiting trial, sentencing
or transfer
- Is managed by the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services
- The Provincial jail system includes correctional centers, detention centers, jails and
treatment centers, 31 institutions
- “Superjails”

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- All run as maximum centres because of a wide array of prisoners everyone starts here
next step would be Federal
- Men: orange suits
- Women: green garb
- No smoking
- Houses people serving sentences of 2 years or more
- Managed by the Correctional Services Canada (CSC), which is responsible to the
Solicitor General of Canada
- CSC has a national headquarters in Ottawa but is administered through 5 regional
headquarters (Pacific, Prairies, Ontario, Quebec, Atlantic)
- Hope for lower security level thus have more movement can work way down security
level by doing good
- 56 federal institutions (5 women’s 51 men’s)
- Easier to access health care here, can wear own clothes
- More programs
- HIV provincial approx. 2%
- HIV federal approx. 4% men, 7% women
- Hep C Provincial 17-21
- Hep c Federal 30-35% depending on region
- Reasons: those infected are in either 3 categories (1) affected for long time and in and out
of jail (2) affected for long time and never had blood work before jail and then diagnosed
inside (3) inside, infected, become infected while inside by engaging in high risk activity
- High risk activity- unprotected anal sex, sharing of needles (HIV)
- (HCV) sharing of needles and tattooing + piercing (drug use, sexual activity all illegal
in prison system) challenging thing when trying to educate- PASAN has strong harm
reduction philosophy which often conflicts with Correctional Facilities
“Well the first point to get there is that if people who become severe addicts, as shown by all the
studies, were for the most part abused children, then we realize that the war on drugs is actually
waged…against people that were abused from the moment they were born or from an early age
on. In other words, we’re punishing people for having been abused.” – Dr. Gabor Mate reflects
those PASAN works with
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