The Experience of Safety, Harassment and Social Exclusion Among Male Clients of Sydney’s Medically Supervised Injecting Centre

Abstract

Research on drug harm reduction services has found these operate as a safe haven from health harm. Less is known about the wider sense of security experienced by clients of such services as a counterbalance to social marginality in their daily lives. As part of a larger study of the experience of violence among Australian men, the authors completed 20 qualitative semi-structured interviews with male clients of Sydney’s Medically Supervised Injecting Centre (MSIC) in 2016–2020. These were conducted anonymously in a private clinical room inside the MSIC and focused on aspects of drug use and general life experiences of violence, law enforcement, safety and security. Interviews were analysed by thematic content through a combination of preliminary and second close readings. Our analysis found that the MSIC consistently acted as a reprieve from harassment and violence from police and members of the public, conflict in drug deals, and general social exclusion.

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Published: 2021-12-15
Section:Online First
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How to Cite
Dertadian, G., & Tomsen, S. (2021). The Experience of Safety, Harassment and Social Exclusion Among Male Clients of Sydney’s Medically Supervised Injecting Centre. International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy, 10(4). https://doi.org/10.5204/ijcjsd.2029

Author Biographies

UNSW
 Australia

George Dertadian is a Senior Lecturer in a Criminology at the University of New South Wales. He has a decade of experience conducting qualitative social research with people who use drugs, including on topics such as non-medical use pharmaceutical use, injecting drug use, drug policy and harm reduction services.

Western Sydney University
 Australia

Stephen Tomsen is a Professor of Criminology at WSU. He has decades of research experience and reputation for his work on violence, hate crime, crime and culture, masculinities, sexualities, drinking and drug use. Professor Tomsen's output includes seven books and numerous refereed articles and papers in criminology and social science journals.