About the statement

The consensus statement was drafted by the Harm Reduction in Prisons Working Group to provide a clear and concise overview of the evidence-based harm reduction interventions needed to reduce injecting-related harms in Australian prisons.

Australian government commitments to eliminating hepatitis C by 2030 have increased attention on elimination strategies and prisons have been identified as a key setting for intervention. The harm reduction strategies outlined in the statement are critical in achieving this commitment, but importantly, have application for all people at risk of injecting-related harm, disease and death in prisons. It is hoped that the statement can assist policy makers at all levels of government in all jurisdictions to apply a broader lens to harm reduction and to understand why a comprehensive response is needed.

About the Harm Reduction in Prisons Working Group

During 2019 a group of concerned practitioners, researchers and advocates came together to discuss the current state of harm reduction in prisons in Australia. From that initial meeting, an informal working group was formed with a purpose of advancing and achieving the elimination of hepatitis C and other blood-borne viruses in Australian prisons. Today, the Harm Reduction in Prisons Working Group continues to operate in an informal capacity, but since that first meeting has grown to include individuals and organisations in every state and territory in Australia and also New Zealand.

We see this statement as the beginning of a dialogue, and it presents a telegraphic summary of injecting-related harm reduction in prisons (not delving into the nuanced and detailed perspectives of all the stakeholders involved in its development). 

For enquiries, please contact Liz Barrett: liz.barrett@unsw.edu.au