AIHW Board AIHW senior staff Annual report Capability statement Collaboration Customer care charter FOI - freedom of information Indexed list of files Organisation chart Presentations Privacy of data Public consultation Public Interest Disclosure Strategic Directions 2011-2014 Tenders
By category Ageing, disability & carers Families & children Hospitals Housing & homelessness Indigenous Australians Population groups Risk factors, diseases & death Services, workforce & spending
By subject Adoptions Aged care Ageing Alcohol & other drugs Arthritis & musculoskeletal conditions Asthma Australia's health Australia's welfare Burden of disease Cancer Cardiovascular health Child health, development & wellbeing Child protection Children's services Chronic diseases
Chronic kidney disease Chronic respiratory conditions COPD Deaths Dementia Dental & oral health Diabetes Disability Expenditure Eye health Food & nutrition Health indicators Homelessness Hospitals Housing assistance Indigenous Australians Injury Life expectancy
Male health Mental health Mothers & babies National health priority areas Overweight & obesity Palliative care Population health Prisoner health Risk factors Rural health Safety & quality of health care Veterans' health Workforce Youth health & wellbeing Youth justice
In other sections Data Publications Contact AIHW
Publications CatalogueOrdering publicationsForthcoming publicationsOnline reportsRate our publication effectivenessSubscribe to release notices
By subject Adoptions Aged care Ageing Alcohol & other drugs Arthritis & musculoskeletal conditions Asthma Australia's health Australia's welfare Burden of disease Cancer Cardiovascular health Child health, development & wellbeing Child protection Children's services Chronic diseases Chronic kidney disease
Chronic respiratory conditions Corporate publications Data linkage Data standards Deaths Dental & oral health Diabetes Disability Expenditure Eye health Food & nutrition General practice Health indicators Homelessness Hospitals Housing assistance Indigenous Australians Indigenous housing
Injury Life expectancy Male health Mental health services Mothers & babies National health priority areas Overweight & obesity Palliative care Population health Prisoner health Risk factors Rural health Safety & quality of health care Veterans' health Workforce Youth health & wellbeing Youth justice
In other sections Subjects Data Contact AIHW
About AIHW data METeOR—metadata online registry Data by subject Catalogue of holdings of AIHW data Customised data analysis request Data governance framework Data linking Data standards GovHack Privacy of data Accessing Australian Government health and welfare data
By subjectAboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Performance Framework Adoptions Aged care Alcohol and other drugs Alcohol data sources Body weight data sources Cancer Children's headline indicators (CHI) Chronic disease indicators Data sources for monitoring health conditionsDeaths Disability
Expenditure FHBH - Fixing houses for better health General practice (GP) data Height and weight data sources Hospitals Indigenous Australians International collaboration Maternity Information Matrix (MIM) Medical indemnity
Mental health National Aged Care Data Clearinghouse National core maternity indicators (NCMI) National indicator catalogue Perinatal data Risk factors statistics Specialist Homelessness Services (SHS) Tobacco data sources Workforce
In other sections Subjects Publications Contact AIHW
AACR ACFADD AHSAC AIHW Board AIHW Ethics Committee AODTS NMDS WG CKDMAC CMAG CSDWG CVDMAC HEAC HHIMG
IGIHM JJ RIG MHISSC NAGATSIHID NCIAG NCSIMG NDDWG NDIMG NHISSC NIAG NIRAPIMG NMDD
NMDS NMHPSC NOPSAD NPDDC NPHEP NPHIC PCDWG PDWG PHIDG PHIG REDWG Workforce committees YIAG
Education worksheets Infographics What's in the pipeline Subscribe to education notices Other educational links
Worksheets by subject All Latest Ageing Australia's health Australia's welfare Carers
Children & youth Disability Disease Drugs
Health Health prevention Indigenous Australians Injury
In other sections Subjects Data Publications Contact AIHW
Job vacancies How to apply for a position at the AIHW Conditions of employment Benefits of working for the AIHW Temporary employment register Occupational Training Program Contact the People Unit Graduates
AIHW Access magazine Media releases Subscribe to release notices Media FAQ Media contacts
You are here:
Australian prisoners experience a range of significant health issues, according to a report released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).
The report, The health of Australia's prisoners 2012, shows prisoners in Australia experienced relatively high rates of chronic disease, communicable disease and mental health issues.
Almost 1 in 3 prison entrants (32%) reported having a chronic disease, with asthma (24%) most commonly reported, and around one-fifth of prison entrants tested positive to both Hepatitis C and B. These rates are higher for prisoners than for the general community.
'Behaviours associated with risk of poor health outcomes are more common among prison entrants than in the general community,' said AIHW spokesperson Dr Pamela Kinnear.
'On entry to prison, over 4 in 5 prison entrants reported being a smoker; and seven in ten had used illicit drugs in the 12 months prior to the data collection period.'
Mental health problems continue to be of concern for prisoners, with over a quarter (26%) of prison entrants referred to mental health services for observation and assessment on reception to prison. A similar proportion (25%) took medications for mental health related conditions while in custody.
Indigenous prison entrants were more likely to report engaging in risky health behaviours prior to their incarceration, but less likely to report a history of mental health issues.
The 2012 report includes, for the first time, indicative data relating to 387 prison dischargees (prisoners expecting to be released in the 4 weeks following the collection).
'This new dischargee information provided some interesting and somewhat contrasting preliminary insights into this population,' Dr Kinnear said.
While almost half (46%) of all dischargees reported a history of mental health issues, 27% reported that their mental health became 'a lot better' while in prison. Also, 37% of dischargees reported their health became 'a lot better' in prison, although over half (57%) reported that their weight had increased during this time.
Indigenous prison dischargees were more likely than their non-Indigenous counterparts to report an increase in physical activity while in prison (46% compared with 33%) and report that their health was a little or a lot better (74% and 49%) since entering prison.
'More information about these preliminary trends may become available over time as data collection about dischargees improves,' Dr Kinnear said.
The report excludes Western Australian prisons, as that jurisdiction did not participate in the 2012 data collection.
The AIHW is a major national agency set up by the Australian Government to provide reliable, regular and relevant information and statistics on Australia's health and welfare.
Canberra, 24 July 2013
Further information: Dr Pamela Kinnear, AIHW, tel. (02) 02 6249 5096, mob. 0421 600 377
Full publication: The health of Australia's prisoners 2012