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2004 13 Essential Resources

Mise en ligne : 2 January 2005

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Canadian Resources
P Collins et al. Driving the Point Home : A Strategy for Safer Tattooing in Canadian Prisons. Toronto : PASAN, Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, HIV/AIDS Regional Services, 2003.
The most comprehensive policy document on tattooing in prisons. Developed in consultation with inmate committees across the country. At www.pasan.org .

Correctional Service Canada. HIV/AIDS in Prisons : Final Report of the Expert Committee on AIDS and Prisons. Ottawa : Minister of Supply and Services Canada, 1994.
One of the most comprehensive reports on issues raised by HIV/AIDS and by drug use in prisons. It contains 88 recommendations on how to prevent HIV transmission in prisons and on care for prisoners with HIV/AIDS. Still extremely relevant, but must be read together with Jürgens, 1996, and Lines, 2002, infra. Also available : HIV/AIDS in Prisons : Summary Report and Recommendations ; and HIV/AIDS in Prisons : Background Materials (includes a review of Canadian legal cases dealing with issues raised by HIV/AIDS in prison, a summary of the prison policies of Canadian provinces and territories and of selected foreign countries, and an analysis of the legal and ethical issues raised by protecting confidential medical information pertaining to prisoners).

Correctional Service Canada. 1995 National Inmate Survey : Final Report. Ottawa : CSC (Correctional Research and Development), 1996, No SR-02.
The results of a CSC survey of 4285 inmates, confirming that a high proportion of inmates engage in high-risk behaviours

Correctional Service Canada. Research Report : Institutional Methadone Maintenance Treatment : Impact on Release Outcome and Institutional Behaviour. Ottawa : CSC Research Branch, 2002 (No R-119).
Study documenting the positive impact of the introduction of MMT on release outcome and institutional behaviour. Available via www.csc-scc.gc.ca/text/rsrch/reports/reports_e.shtml

Correctional Service Canada. Infectious Diseases Prevention and Control in Canadian Federal Penitentiaries 2000-01. A Report of the Correctional Service of Canada’s Infectious Diseases Surveillance System. Ottawa : CSC, 2003. At www.csc-scc.gc.ca/text/pblct/infectiousdiseases/index_e.shtml .

Correctional Service Canada. A health care needs assessment of federal inmates in Canada. Canadian Journal of Public Health 2004 ; 95(suppl 1) : S1-S63.

A DiCenso, G Dias, J Gahagan. Unlocking Our Futures : A National Study on Women, Prisons, HIV, and Hepatitis C. Toronto : PASAN, 2003.
The most comprehensive Canadian report on HIV, HCV, and incarcerated women. At www.pasan.org .

R Elliott. Prisoners’ Constitutional Right to Sterile Needles and Bleach. Appendix 2 in R Jürgens. HIV/AIDS in Prisons : Final Report. Montréal : Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network and Canadian AIDS Society, 1996.
Do prisoners have a right to the means that would allow them to protect themselves against contracting HIV and other diseases in prisons ? Can prison systems be forced to provide condoms, bleach, and sterile needles ? Can and should the law be used to achieve change in prison HIV/AIDS policies ? The article discusses these questions. In particular, it analyzes whether denying prisoners access to sterile needles is a violation of their constitutional rights. Available at www.aidslaw.ca/Maincontent/issues/prisons/APP2.html .

R Jürgens. HIV/AIDS in Prisons : Final Report. Montréal : Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network and Canadian AIDS Society, 1996.
A comprehensive 150-page report, summarizing the history of HIV/AIDS in prisons in Canada and internationally. Includes sections on prevalence of risk behaviours in prisons, HIV transmission behind bars, needle-exchange programs, methadone maintenance treatment, and more. Argues that prison systems have a moral and legal obligation to act to reduce the risk of further spread of HIV behind bars, and to provide appropriate care, treatment, and support. Includes hundreds of references and a substantial bibliography. Still extremely relevant, but should be read together with Lines, 2002, infra. Available at www.aidslaw.ca/Maincontent/issues/prisons/download1.html

R Lines. Action on HIV/AIDS in Prisons : Too Little, Too Late - A Report Card. Montreal : Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, 2002.
Provides a detailed review of the provision of HIV/AIDS programs and services in Canadian prison systems. Includes a “Harm Reduction Report Card” for each jurisdiction rating its provision of HIV prevention measures. Available at www.aidslaw.ca/Maincontent/issues/prisons/reportcard/toc.htm .

R Lines. Pros & Cons : A Guide to Creating Successful Community-based HIV/AIDS Programs for Prisoners. Toronto : PASAN, 2002.
The most comprehensive Canadian resource on developing HIV/AIDS prevention and support services for prisoners. Available at www.pasan.org .

International Resources
American College of Physicians, National Commission on Correctional Health Care, and American Correctional Health Services Association. The crisis in correctional health care : the impact of the national drug control strategy on correctional health services. Annals of Internal Medicine 1992 ; 117(1) : 72-77.
A joint position paper pointing out how existing problems in prisons in the US have been exacerbated by the war on drugs. The paper recommends that the drug-control strategy, with its emphasis on incarceration, be reconsidered ; that correctional health-care budgets reflect the growing needs of the inmate population ; that correctional health care be recognized as an integral part of the public health sector ; that correctional care evolve from its present reactive “sick call” model into a proactive system that emphasizes early disease detection and treatment, health promotion, and disease prevention.

P Bollini (ed). HIV in Prison. A Manual for the Newly Independent States. Médecins sans frontières, Prison Reform International, World Health Organization, 2001 (Russian edition, 2003).
A manual for prison staff in the countries of the former Soviet Union. Extremely useful for other prison systems as well. In English and Russian.

K Dolan, D Lowe, J Shearer. Evaluation of the condom distribution program in New South Wales prisons, Australia. Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics 2004 ; 32 : 124-128.
The most recent of only a few evaluations of prison condom distribution programs.

K Dolan et al. A randomised controlled trial of methadone maintenance treatment versus wait list control in an Australian prison system. Drug and Alcohol Dependence 2003 ; 72 : 59-65.
The first-of-its kind trial found that prison-based MMT reduced heroin injecting.

K Dolan, S Rutter,A Wodak. Prison-based syringe exchange programmes : a review of international research and development in Addiction 2003, 98, 153-158.
Good summary of evaluations of prison needle exchange programs in Switzerland, Germany, and Spain.

K Dolan, A Wodak. An international review of methadone provision in prisons. Addiction Research 1996 ; 4(1) : 85-97.
Few papers have appeared documenting the provision of methadone in prison systems. This is a good early review.

NN Dubler, VW Sidel. On research on HIV Infection and AIDS in correctional institutions. The Milbank Quarterly 1989 ; 67(2) : 171-207.
The article discusses the problems involved in conducting research on prisoners. It concludes that, although a prison setting precludes voluntary and uncoerced choice, prisoners should be permitted to choose to participate in research, including therapeutic trials with no placebo arm that hold out the possibility of benefit.

European Network on HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis Prevention in Prisons. Final Report on the EU Project European Network on HIV/AIDS Prevention in Prisons. Bonn and Marseille : The Network, 1997.
The proceedings of the first seminar of the European Network for HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis Prevention in Prison, held in Marseille on 20 June 1996, contain a review of literature on HIV risk behaviours in prisons and an overview of the situation in six European countries : Germany, Scotland, France, Italy, the Netherlands, and Sweden. See also : European Network on HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis Prevention in Prisons. 2. Annual Report - European Network on HIV/AIDS Prevention in Prisons. Bonn and Marseille : The Network, 1998 (the second report by the European Network, with detailed information regarding HIV/AIDS and hepatitis in prisons in 16 European countries and an updated European bibliography on HIV/AIDS in prison).

LM Maruschak. HIV in Prisons, 2001. Washington, DC : US Dept of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics Bulletin, 2004.
Summarizes the situation with regard to HIV/AIDS in prisons in the US. Available at www.ojp.usdojgov/bjs/pub/pdf/hivp01.pdf .

Joint United Nations Programme on AIDS. Prisons and AIDS : UNAIDS Technical Update. Geneva : UNAIDS, 1997 ; and Prisons and AIDS : UNAIDS Point of View. Geneva : UNAIDS, 1997.
An extremely useful pair of documents on HIV/AIDS and drug use in prisons around the world, with basic information about the issues, challenges, responses, resources, and UNAIDS’ point of view. This is probably the best summary available on HIV/AIDS and drug use in prisons. Available via www.unaids.org .

Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS. United Nations Commission on Human Rights (Fifty-second Session, item 8 of the agenda). HIV/AIDS in Prisons - Statement by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). Geneva, April 1996.
This statement by UNAIDS to the Commission on Human Rights argues that the treatment of prisoners in many countries constitutes a violation of the prisoners’ human rights. UNAIDS urges all governments to use the World Health Organization’s guidelines on HIV/AIDS in prisons (see infra) in formulating their prison policies and offers assistance to any government wishing to implement the guidelines. Available via www.unaids.org .

F Kapadia et al. Does bleach disinfection of syringes protect against hepatitis C infection among young adult injection drug users ? Epidemiology 2002 ; 13(6) : 738-741.
The study showing that bleach disinfection may provide some protection against HCV.

T Kerr, R Jürgens. Methadone Maintenance Therapy in Prisons : Reviewing the Evidence. Montreal : Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, 2004.
A 10-page review of the evidence. Available via www.aidslaw.ca/Maincontent/issues/prisons.htm .

T Kerr, R Jürgens. Syringe Exchange Programs in Prisons : Reviewing the Evidence. Montreal : Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, 2004.
A 10-page review of the evidence. Available via www.aidslaw.ca/Maincontent/issues/prisons.htm.

GE Macalino et al. Hepatitis C infection and incarcerated populations. International Journal of Drug Policy 2004 ; 15 : 103-114.
A review of prevalence and incidence of HCV in prisons worldwide.

R Lines, R Jürgens, H Stöver, D Latishevschi, J Nelles. Prison Needle Exchange : A Review of International Evidence and Experience. Montreal : Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, 2004.
The most comprehensive and detailed report available on the international experience of prison syringe exchange programs in Switzerland, Germany, Spain, Moldova, Kyrgyzstan, and Belarus. Available at www.aidslaw.ca/Maincontent/issues/prisons.htm 

Ministerio Del Interior/Ministerio De Sanidad y Consumo. Needle Exchange in Prison Framework Program. Madrid : Ministerio Del Interior/Ministerio De Sanidad y Consumo, 2002.
Detailed plan and guidelines used for the implementation of needle exchange programs in all Spanish prisons. Essential for anyone wishing to see how a successful needle exchange program is established in a prison. Available in Spanish and English.

J Nelles, T Harding. Preventing HIV transmission in prison : a tale of medical disobedience and Swiss pragmatism. The Lancet 1995 ; 346 : 1507.
Describes how Dr Franz Probst, a part-time medical officer working at Oberschöngrün prison in the Swiss canton of Solothurn, began distributing sterile injection material without informing the prison director : the world’s first distribution of injection material inside prison began as an act of medical disobedience.

D Shewan, JB Davies (eds). Drug Use and Prisons : An International Perspective. Amsterdam : Harwood Academic, 2000.
Provides a comprehensive account of patterns of drug use and risk behaviours in prisons, and of the different responses to this feature of prison life. Contains articles from Europe, North and South America, Africa, and Australia

H Stöver, J Nelles. 10 years of experience with needle and syringe exchange programmes in European prisons : A review of different evaluation studies. International Journal of Drug Policy 2003 ; 14 : 437-444.

H Stöver. Study on Assistance to Drug Users in Prisons. Lisbon, European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, 2001 (EMCDDA/2001).
A comprehensive study on HIV/AIDS and drug use in prisons. Available at www.emcdda.org 

World Health Organization. WHO Guidelines on HIV Infection and AIDS in Prisons. Geneva : WHO, 1993 (WHO/GPA/DIR/93.3).
Proposes standards for prison authorities in efforts to prevent HIV transmission and provide care to those with HIV/AIDS in prisons. Available at www.aidslaw.ca/Maincontent/issues/prisons/APP5.html .

AIDS Policy & Law

A US biweekly newsletter on legislation, regulation, and litigation concerning AIDS. Contains short summaries of US developments, mainly lawsuits.

Canadian HIV/Policy & Law Review

Required reading for all those working on, or interested in, HIV/AIDS in prisons. Provides regular updates and feature articles on policies and programs from around the world. Bilingual (English and French). Available at www.aidslaw.ca/Maincontent/otherdocs/Newsletter/newsletter.htm

Hepp Report

Provides HIV updates designed for practitioners in the correctional setting. Targets correctional administrators and HIV/AIDS care providers, with information on HIV treatment, efficient approaches to administering such treatments in the correctional environment, and US and international news. Published monthly. For info, see www.hivcorrections.org


The website of the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network. Nowhere will you find more info on HIV/AIDS in prisons than on this site.


The website of the Prisoners’ HIV/AIDS Support Action Network (PASAN), with policy documents and reports, educational materials for use in prisons, and the quarterly bulletin Cell Count.


The Body is one of the HIV/AIDS “super-sites.” Their prison reference page provides links to a number of articles and publications.


The website of the Access to Health Care for the Incarcerated initiative of the [US] AIDS Treatment Activists Coalition (ATAC) contains a list of 40 of “the best websites with information on HIV/AIDS, HCV, and prisons.”

For More Resources ...

Third, revised and updated version, 2004. Copies of this info sheet are available on the Network website at http://www.aidslaw.ca/Maincontent/issues/prisons.htm and through the Canadian HIV/AIDS Information Centre (email : aidssida@cpha.ca). Reproduction of the info sheet is encouraged, but copies may not be sold, and the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network must be cited as the source of this information. For further information, contact the Network (tel : 514 397-6828 ; fax : 514 397-8570 ; email : info@aidslaw.ca). Ce feuillet d’information est également disponible en français.

Funded by Health Canada under the Canadian Strategy on HIV/AIDS. The findings, interpretations, and views expressed in this publication are entirely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Health Canada.

© Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, 2004