Anti-drug preventive activities in a situation of HIV outburst within a prison institution: (Experience and Conclusions from the HIV Outburst in Alytus Top Security Prison).
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Innovations aimed to reduce any production, delivery, and consumption of drugs are the most prospective measures to work out more efficient prevention of drug related offences. This is especially true for prison institutions, where drug consumption tends to be several times greater that in the general population. Therefore, prison institution has especially great need in new efficient anti-drug activities. However, just here especially great problems are met designing and implementing such activities, overcoming resistance against these innovations. A great part of these problems origins in attitudes of the prison administration towards these activities. In case of an HIV epidemic in prison its administration takes a great part designing and selecting preventive activities, accepting or rejecting recommendations of criminologists and AIDS experts, implementing or sabotaging them. We investigated 112 prison officers in the greatest Lithuanian prison enveloped into a large HIV epidemic, their evaluations of efficiency of 73 activities included in anti-HIV epidemic programs in this prison, as well as their comments on them. Analysis of evaluations and their comments revealed that opinions of our respondents are based on rather primitive (one- and two- factors) causal reasoning schemes. Factor analysis revealed strong connections of evaluations with personal factors (like enthusiasm-skepticism, inclination to individual or large-scale measures, readiness to break prison order), which had nothing to do with real efficiency of an preventive activity. Therefore, “professional experience” based opinions of prison staff cannot be a substitute for scientific evaluations of preventive activities.
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