Research > Harm reduction
Project 5: Harm reduction in correctional settings
(Project Lead: J. Gahagan)
Background: Although it has been argued that drug use and the resultant spread of both HIV and HCV is part of the prison culture, the lag between recognition of the problem and the development of consistently applied harm reduction policies is equally problematic.
Objectives: To explore the harm reduction policy disconnect in the prison system and in the community in an effort to understand how policy analysts, corrections workers, service providers, the public and prisoners make sense of HIV/HCV safety issues, risk behaviours and their potential health-related outcomes.
Methods: Interviews with individuals working within correctional facilities as well as incarcerated populations across the four Atlantic provinces will be used to explore the context and meaning of HIV/HCV risk taking behaviours within the prison system. The proposed project will include behaviours such as slashing, injection drug use, tattooing, as well as access to harm minimization services and information among both male and female prison populations.
Cross Fertilization: The data from this project will be shared across provinces, sectors, and disciplines to help bridge the policy/practice gap.
Funding Strategy: AIRN seed money will be used to develop relationships with federal and provincial Corrections agencies, and to develop the project. Funding for the study will be sought from an external agency such as SSHRC.