LEGISLATING ANTI-TORTURE REFORM AND HARM REDUCTION SERVICES TO PROTECT INCARCERATED OPIOID USERS IN PAKISTAN
Pakistani anti-torture and harm reduction law is examined, particularly how these regulations, or lack thereof, influence prison safety and user rehabilitation. This study first takes a broad view of Pakistani opioid use, harm reduction, and its public health consequences, and then examines these issues within the Pakistani prison system. As anti-torture laws and inmate protections are weak within Pakistan, law enforcement, prison officers, and prison administrators often exploit these conditions to extract confessions, punish, and extort inmates. Safety and rehabilitation in prisons will likely improve with strongly enforced anti-torture and harm reduction laws. Legal control over physical and psychological torture should also be paired with normalizing harm reduction services in prisons, such as separate detoxification units for users experiencing withdrawal upon entering prison, confidential HIV testing, drug awareness messaging, evidence-based and voluntary treatment, among others. Strengthening anti-torture and harm reduction law has ramifications for the Pakistani legal system, prison system, law enforcement, and public health divisions within prisons. The Pakistani government should legislate anti-torture and harm reduction reforms to improve the safety and rehabilitation prospects of incarcerated opioid users.