NSP pilot in prisons discussed in Jakarta

On December, 18th 2013, Rumah Cemara in collaboration with AFEW and HRI organized a round table meeting in Jakarta for 14 national stakeholders and organisations that work in a penal system to see the possibility of developing/scaling up harm reduction programme in prisons, particularly Needle and Syringe programme for prisoners who inject drugs.

Prisons in Indonesia are overcrowded that makes very difficult to facilities to control sharing needles and syringes by the prisoners. This has led to the consideration to develop harm reduction services as there is a high risk of new HIV infections in prisons.

Nevertheless, the are some barriers to NSP implementation in prisons: running an NSP in a prison means acknowledging drug use inside the prison. There are also worries that needles can be used for weapon.

The meeting was attended by representatives from the Ministry of Health, General Directorate of Prison, Banceuy prison, National Narcotics Board (BNN), Human Rights National Commission, HIV Cooperation Programme for Indonesia (HCPI), UNAIDS, UNODC and National Network of People who Use Drugs (PKNI).

Most of the participants agreed to facilitate the improvement and scaling-up of HIV and Hepatitis prevention interventions in the prisons. However, actions need to be taken on how to advocate to the government and its institutions, prepare and educate the civil society about the importance of facilitating the setting up of NSP in prisons.