Yesterday, December 2, Judge Michael Blee extended the restraints against Atlantic City’s enforcement of Ordinance 32 (which would terminate the city’s syringe access services operated by South Jersey AIDS Alliance) while the matter is being litigated. Judge Blee’s Order and Memorandum of Decision are attached below.
Statement: Restraining order to protect syringe access services in Atlantic City extended through duration of litigation
Carol Harney, Chief Executive Officer of South Jersey AIDS Alliance:
“I am so relieved and thankful that Oasis lives to see another day. Every day we provide services, people’s lives are saved and people vulnerable to overdose and HIV have essential health services. I’m cautiously optimistic that evidence and public health will prevail. Oasis has a long history of supporting vulnerable members of our community, and we will continue doing so for as long as we are able.”
Jenna Mellor, Executive Director of New Jersey Harm Reduction Coalition:
“This decision is a big win for public health and human dignity — and the stakes couldn’t be higher. Keeping Oasis open will literally save lives, as harm reduction services are the best tool we have to prevent overdose deaths and new HIV and Hepatitis C infections. New Jersey is on track to lose more people to overdose this year than ever before. We cannot let politics get in the way of public health, nor can we let discrimination and stigma stand in the way of lifesaving syringe services. If we want to keep our friends, neighbors, and family members alive, this is how we do it. We will continue to fight to keep Oasis open and remove barriers to syringe access in every corner of the state.”
Harm reduction is essential. A harm reduction approach to drug use is the best strategy we have to end the overdose crisis, reduce risks associated with drug use, and affirm the dignity and bodily autonomy of every New Jerseyan.