1986–93: The HIV/AIDS Crisis and Fears of Contamination



This chapter focuses on the period 1986 to 1993, which signalled the beginning of more explicit policy development in relation to drug issues in prisons. As in the previous phase, the issues of throughcare and treatment continued to be emphasised, resulting in a more formal policy document on throughcare in 1987 (HM Prison Service, 1987) and a manual dealing with guidelines on how drug users should be cared for within the prison system in 1991 (HM Prison Service, 1991). The HIV/AIDS crisis was the key factor precipitating this move towards a more defined prison drugs policy. In 1986, HIV/AIDS first began to be debated in relation to drugs policy in the community (Stimson and Lart, 1991; Berridge, 1996a). In contrast to the earlier phase, the ‘denial’ and ‘collusion’ which existed around drug issues in prison were no longer sustainable in light of HIV and the evidence and research base which was beginning to emerge on the nature and extent of the problem. The concern around HIV and injecting drug use within the prison environment resulted in a policy network forming around this issue which began to pressure the Prison Service to acknowledge and respond to the problem.


Drug User Drug Policy Drug Problem Needle Exchange Policy Network 
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Copyright information

© Karen Duke 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Middlesex UniversityEngland

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