UNODC is cosponsor of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS - UNAIDS
Jails need drug-dependent cure
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3 May 2007
About eight to 10 percent of prisoners in India are into drugs and this despite surveillance. The worse is drug abuse enhances the risk of HIV/AIDS.
Experts say surveillance cannot be a deterrent. At the most, it can reduce the use, but marginally.
In the United States, there are 20 prison staff members for 100 inmates whereas in India it is in single digit.
The possible options are to inculcate restraint among the inmates, encourage them to come out with truth and build a drug dependent treatment system.
The issue was deliberated at an awareness camp, inaugurated by Orissa High Court (HC) judge Justice I.M. Quddusi on Special Jail premises here.
''Body carriage of drugs is hard to contain as physical search of inmates won't be fruitful most of the times,'' Dr Jayadev Sarangi, Prison Expert with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said.
According to him, a peer guide system can help the reforms process in jails. The UNODC has a tool kit on HIV/ AIDS and drug use for inmates and it has been translated into six languages.
Sarangi said the Home Department and Prison Administration have been proposed to translate the tool kit into Oriya so that it can be circulated among inmates as well as lowerrung jail staff in Orissa.
Use of injectable methods enhances the risk of HIV/AIDS. About 60 percent of inmates are on trial, who keep floating, pose a bigger challenge for their family members.
On the occasion, Home Secretary Tarun Kanti Mishra called upon the inmates to exercise restraint. The Government is trying to give them a better environment. The expenditure on the diet has been raised from Rs 19 to Rs 32 per head, he said.
IG (Prisons) V.Thiagarajan, AIG (Prisons) Tarashankar Chakraborty, secretary of Orissa State Legal Aid Service Authority (OSLASA) G.B. Patnaik and Special Jail superintendent Prasant Das spoke.
The camp was organised by Pallibani Mission with support from UNODC, OSLASA and State Prison Administration.