Day defends axing prison tattoo program
OTTAWA -- Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day had some explaining to do yesterday after an internal report had positive things to say about a prison tattoo project he axed last month.
In terminating the safe-tattooing program, Mr. Day said an analysis of the project showed it "has not been demonstrably effective." But critics expressed concern the move would increase the spread of AIDS and hepatitis C by encouraging illicit tattooing behind bars.
The Correctional Service's draft evaluation of the pilot project was not made public at the time. The report, now available, says the project resulted in increased knowledge and awareness among staff and prisoners about preventing blood-borne infectious diseases. It also found that while the price-tag was low, a more cost-effective model could be put in place with similar results.
I am only surprised that no federal inmate hasn't already sought recourse from the courts for the government cancelling this program, and thereby, violating his right to exercise free expression. Anyway, don't hold your breath. It will no doubt come.