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Austrian prisoners to receive condoms and lubricant

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Austrian prisoners to receive condoms and lubricant
Photo: robertelyov/Flickr
09:14 CEST+02:00
'Safe sex packages' including an informative leaflet will be distributed to all new inmates in Austria's prisons.

The 'safe sex' packages contain condoms, lubricant, a toothbrush and toothpaste, as well as a leaflet with information about safe sex practice, Austrian newspaper Heute reported on Tuesday.

The leaflet has pictures of stick figures in sexual positions, to show how infections can occur.

"The take-care package, including information, is an important message about preventing infections, especially HIV and hepatitis B and C. Health is our priority," a spokesperson for the Department of Justice, Britta Tichy-Martin, said, according to Heute.

The package will be available in 13 languages, including German, English, French, Arabic, Chinese and Swahili, reflecting the various nationalities of Austria's prison population.

Erection pills

In 2014 a whistleblower revealed that some long-term prisoners in Krems Stein prison in Lower Austria have been issued with 1000 Cialis-brand erectile-dysfunction drugs.

The story mentioned Cialis, which is prescribed as an erectile-dysfunction treatment, as an 'aphrodisiac', and expresses puzzlement at the motivation for the unusual clinical regime.

An employee received the order for 1000 doses of the 5 mg potency pills, which he found highly suspect.  According to Heute, the employee explained that "We only carry out the arrangements of the medical management.  Why long-term prisoners receive potency pills, is a matter solely for the chief physician to know."

Christian Lausch, justice spokesman for the Austrian Freedom Party (FPÖ), called for an investigation into and an immediate halt of the distribution of the "potency treat."  

"The fact that the taxpayer has to pay for them, makes this scandal twice as bad", he said.

Prison Facts

Inmates are obliged to work in Austrian prisons. Therefore prisons run workshops and businesses in about 50 locations, and sell the products, including Christmas gifts, through a web site.
 
Prisoners are also able to buy other products, including erection medications.  It's not entirely clear why such a medicine is needed in prison.
 
For their work, inmates receive a salary, of which 75 percent is withheld as a contribution to the execution of the sentence.  The rest is divided, with one half of the money (12.5 percent) used as pocket money during imprisonment, and the other half saved for after their release. 
 
In addition the inmates contribute to unemployment insurance and are therefore entitled to receive unemployment benefits after their release from prison.
 
The average prison population in 2011 was 8,816.  As of September 1st, 2011 4,027 of inmates (46 percent) were non-Austrians, 572 were women (6 percent) and 149 adolescents.
 
Prison Costs
 
In 2013, there were 3,892 people working in the Austrian prison system, with 3,124 employed as prison guards. The remainder represent different professions, including doctors, psychologists, pastors, sociologists, trainers, social workers, therapists, nurses and administration staff. 
 
The average cost per inmate per day in prison in 2011 was €99.  The total amount spent over the year was €373 million.
 
The Austrian prison system consists of the following institutions:
  • 7 penal institutions for men - Stein, Graz-Karlau, Garsten, Suben, Sonnberg, Hirtenberg, Wien-Simmering
  • 1 penal institution for adolescents - Gerasdorf
  • 1 penal institutions for women - Schwarzau
  • 3 institutions for involuntary detention (Maßnahmenvollzug) - Göllersdorf, Wien-Mittersteig, Wien-Favoriten
  • 15 court institutions („gerichtliche Gefangenenhäuser“) - Eisenstadt, Wien-Josefstadt, Wr. Neustadt, St. Pölten, Krems, Korneuburg, Graz-Jakomini, Leoben, Klagenfurt, Linz, Wels, Ried i.I., Salzburg, Innsbruck, Feldkirch
  • The Vienna juvenile court - Wiener Jugendgerichtshilfe
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