Should Ontario's inmates be given clean needles? Ontario court will look at challenge

needles

A constitutional challenge to the federal government's refusal to provide clean needles in prisons is up in an Ontario court today.

The challenge was filed by former inmate Steven Simons and is backed by a several H-I-V-AIDS advocacy organizations, who say current rules are arbitrary and disproportionate.

The case argues the current rules violate inmates' rights and expose them to serious blood-borne diseases.

The government has argued in court filings that giving clean drug-injection needles to prisoners would make federal facilities more dangerous, since syringes could be used as weapons.

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