24 February 2010
Jersey’s Health and Social Services Minister has been describing the treatment services available at La Moye Prison for offenders with alcohol and drug problems at a British Irish Council (BIC) ministerial meeting in the Isle of Man today (24 February 2010).
Deputy Anne Pryke and the Director of the Alcohol and Drug Service, Michael Gafoor, represented Jersey at the meeting, which was chaired by the Irish Minister of State, Mr John Curran TD. Ireland is the lead jurisdiction on the BIC for the issue of misuse of drugs.
During the meeting, Deputy Pryke explained that services offered to offenders in Jersey include detoxification, counselling, drug education, treatment for blood borne viruses (i.e. Hepatitis and HIV) as well as mental health services, and educational and vocational courses. She also provided an outline of Jersey’s new 5 year Crime and Drug Strategy, ‘Building a Safer Society’ (BaSS), which uses community engagement as the principal means of achieving its 3 strategic priorities to:
- create a safer environment by reducing crime, public disorder and anti-social behaviour
- provide people in Jersey with opportunities to develop their potential as lifelong learners and become active and responsible members of society
- reduce the harm caused by drugs, alcohol and solvents.
Deputy Pryke highlighted the success of Jersey’s previous drug strategy which has led to a decrease in the use of Class A drugs (ecstasy, heroin and cocaine) among pupils aged between 11 and 15 (A Picture of Health (2006), A Survey of Jersey School Children) along with a reduction in needle sharing and deaths from overdoses among drug users.
At the meeting, she also emphasized Jersey’s prompt response to so called ‘legal highs’. Substances such as BZP, mephedrone and the synthetic cannabinoids were placed under the control of the Misuse of Drugs Law last November. In so doing, Jersey became the first place in the British Isles to ban the use and possession of these substances.
In terms of the British Irish Council’s future work programme on Drugs Misuse, Jersey will be hosting a Senior Officials meeting this September when delegates will hear of 2 successful projects that addresses the Island’s alcohol and drug problems.