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HIV/AIDS - Hepatitis B Inquiry (Part II): Dissenting Statement by Mr Stewart Leggett MP (1997)
- HIV/AIDS - Hepatitis B Inquiry (Part II): The Rights of Infected and Non-Infected Persons. Adelaide: 48th Parliament of South Australia (Social Development Committee). 1997.
- Prison officers do not have a 'duty of care' to protect prisoners who harm themselves while taking part in illegal behaviour. With regard to needles in prisons, provision of bleach could also be harmful. Bleach is by nature a corrosive agent and could cause serious injury if thrown into the eyes of a prison officer or fellow prisoner, There is evidence that even the highly caustic phenol used to sterilise dental instruments does not eliminate all HIV viruses - only autoclaving in super-heated steam is fully effective. If government provided bleach fails to sterilise prisoners’ illegal needles adequately, does the government become liable for breach of duty of care?
- Injecting illegal drugs is NOT OK! Prison must be a place where prisoners can detoxify and have the chance to break the habit. This avenue should be addressed, rather than options which reinforce the addictive behaviour.
- South Australian prison officers do have a duty of care to protect inmates from rape and from assault. Provision of condoms would not protect against rape: prisoners with rape or assault tendencies should be separated from other prisoners. So should prisoners with HIV/AIDS.
- Provision of condoms also sends the message that sex between prisoners is OK - yet abstinence is part and parcel of a prison sentence.
Quotes about Leggett
- Two of the House of Assembly members, Mr Scalzi and Mr Leggett, basically said that efforts should be made to stamp out drug use, sex and rape in prisons. I think we might as well try to make efforts to try to stop the sun rising, because the evidence we received showed that—it does not matter where you want to go—no other country in the world has been able to stop drug use in prison. If you cannot stop drug use, I doubt very much that you will be able to stop sexual practices, given that the sex drive is probably a little bit stronger than the desire to use drugs.
- Sandra Kanck, in the Fourth Session of the Forty-Eighth Parliament of South Australia, Legislative Council, 24 July 1997, quote published in HANSARD (page 2015).