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Alberta Advocacy group raises concerns over proposed overdose prevention site at Alberta prison

An advocacy group has raised doubts over whether an overdose prevention site proposed for a southern Alberta prison will work.

The Correctional Service of Canada says it has received a Health Canada exemption that would permit the site at Drumheller Institution by the end of the month.

The Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network says the site would be no replacement for a needle exchange program, which only exists in six Canadian prisons, and not in Drumheller.

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The group says it supports supervised consumption sites on principle, but has reservations about how they would work in correctional facilities.

It says there’s not enough trust and confidentiality in the current prison environment for such a site to be a success.

It says needle exchange programs have been proven to function well behind bars in protecting prisoners’ health.

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