For those outside of NSW who are unaware, the current Labor government has been in power since 1995 and to put it politely, is well and truly showing signs of disrepair. The current NSW Opposition has managed to stay disciplined since the 2007 election and under Barry O’Farrell has mad a much needed move to the centre-right.
NADA has put out a press release applauding the NSW Opposition for its call to improve funding for treatment services rather than the ever-expanding rollout of prison beds. Kudos to NADA for being vocal on this, and here’s to a lot more of that by ATOD peak bodies.
I’m far from a Liberal Party supporter but it shows how bizarre things have become where a Labor government are promising more and more prisons whilst the so-called conservatives are wanting an increased focus on treatment.
For those living in NSW, have you noticed whether things have deteriorated in regards to the government’s grasp of health issues? Post a comment below – feel free to use a psuedonym and fake email address if you’re worried about protecting your privacy. There’s not enough open discussion about the impact of politics on health and the current NSW situation is as good a place as any.
The NADA press release:
NADA applauds calls for the expansion of drug crime diversion programs
The Network of Alcohol and Drug Agencies (NADA) welcomes the NSW Opposition’s justice spokesperson’s call to end simplistic “tough on crime” approaches to deal with offenders with severe drug and alcohol and mental health issues. NADA CEO Larry Pierce thinks the NSW Opposition got it right in identifying that more funding for drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs are more effective than building more prisons. “There is strong evidence for the effectiveness of drug crime diversion programs like Drug Courts and magistrates referral to treatment in NSW and across the country” .
“it would be good to see real political bi-partisanship on this issue” says Mr Pierce. NADA also calls on the State and Australian government to further strengthen their current commitment to drug crime diversion and rehabilitation programs.
They are gearing up for a movement towards private business enterprise running our prisons. When this is implemented the need to place an individual into prison has the addition of “good business practice” behind it. The Government, your tax dollars, will be going to a few well off “investors”. Drug use is not a crime, I view people on an almost daily basis who with the help of alcohol (not a legal drug but a controlled drug, if you look at it) are destroying themselves and others, but are not heaped with the same stigma that a “drug user’ receives.
Speaking with individuals who have been incarcerated in this country, there is one overarching truth. Drugs are available in prison, and are readily available, something representatives of the system deny, I believe they deny this so harshly because it is a reflection of the failure of this type of punishment.
An individual is incarcerated for drug use and will become drug free through :-
1. depositing them into an environment against there will away from their family and friends
2. being in an environment occupied by individuals who have murdered, assaulted, robbed and behaved dysfunctional
3. being exposed to readily available drugs
5. exposure to an environment that will ensure emotional and psychological harm
No, they wont, they will be exposed to behavior that will change there outlook to life in a negative way. To say people who use drugs should be sent to prison is about being a self centered egotist. How poorly these people think of themselves that they need to put others down to feel good about themselves.
More resources for harm reduction, supply reduction and demand reduction initiatives rather then incarceration. More detoxes and rehabs, more counselling programs and more help for the services that work with people who use drugs, I know how my local needle and syringe program works hard at placing people into rehabs and detoxes, I would not have thought they would do this but they say it is the core of what they are about, helping people to be the best they can rather then destroying them, destroying people is too easy, so is building more prisons that’s just the easy way out.