Drug addicts, AIDS patients being treated in jails

Federal Ombudsman’s report says recovery centres are setup at all prisons of country

Shabbir Hussain August 15, 2019
The consulate also facilitated Pakistan Association Dubai in contributing 75 air tickets to 75 pardoned prisoners, and also appreciated the efforts of the community in playing an instrumental role in this cause. PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD: The prisoners suffering from HIV/AIDS or drug addiction are being shifted to separate barracks in all jails of the country as work on establishing recovery centres at jails has also started.

According to a report of the Federal Ombudsman, all the four provinces have started implementing the Ombudsman’s recommendations to allocate separate places for boarding and treatment of drug addicts at prisons.

The report said in Punjab the prisoners who are addicted to drugs have been allocated barracks that are called recovery centres. To ensure treatment of such prisoners, 17 psychologists of grade-17 and 19 junior psychologists of Grade-16 have been appointed at jails in Punjab.

At the Lahore Central Jail and Rawalpindi’s Adiala Jail, 20-bed detoxification centres have been established. There is a plan to set up 6-bed detoxification centres at another 9 jails. According to the report, during the past five years, 32,227 drug addict prisoners have been detoxified.

In Sindh, the prisoners who are drug addicts have been separated from the common prisoners while the addicts as well as patients of HIV/AIDS, hepatitis and other diseases are being diagnosed through screening through private labs. Their treatment process has also been commenced.

In jails of Punjab, barracks of drug addicts have been renamed as recovery centres. Work has been started in Sindh to screen out HIV/AIDS patients and drug addicts through tests from private laboratories and their treatment has also been commenced.

In Khyber Pakhtunkwa (K-P) consultation is under way for treatment and recovery of such prisoners while in Balochistan, drug addicts are being separated from other prisoners and provided treatment. On request of the jail superintendent, expert psychiatrists also tour the jail and examine the prisoners.

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