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
By subject Adoptions Aged care Alcohol and other drugs Alcohol data sources Body weight data sources Cancer Children's headline indicators (CHI) Chronic disease indicators Deaths 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 have significant health issues, with high levels of mental health problems, communicable diseases, smoking, risky alcohol consumption and illicit drug use, according to a new report released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.
The health of Australia's prisoners 2009 is the first national report to examine prisoner health in Australia. It draws on several important data sources including the AIHW census of public and private prisons, conducted for the first time in 2009. It also draws on the annual deaths in custody report, and the most recent available study on bloodborne viruses in prison entrants.
The report highlights a number of significant health issues. It shows that rates of chronic conditions, such as asthma, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and communicable diseases such as hepatitis B and hepatitis C, are significantly higher among prisoners than among the general population.
'Of particular concern is the number of people who enter prison with mental health issues and high levels of psychological distress,' said Ingrid Johnston of the AIHW's Social and Indigenous Group.
The report shows that almost 40% of prisoners reported having had a mental health disorder at some time; over 30% were referred to prison mental health services, and almost 20% were taking medication for a mental-health-related condition at the time they entered prison.
A history of head injury was also common among prisoners. Over 40% reported having had a blow to the head resulting in a loss of consciousness at some time in their lives.
'Risky health behaviours were far more prevalent among prisoners than among the general community,' Ms Johnston said.
Over 80% of prisoners were current smokers; and during the 12 months prior to entering prison more than 70% had used illicit drugs, and over half had consumed alcohol at risky levels.
'Imprisonment does, however, present an opportunity for health interventions and treatment,' Ms Johnston said.
'An estimated 50,000 prisoners are released from prison each year in Australia, so the health of prisoners is significant for the health of the wider Australian community.'
The report also includes information on educational attainment, the use of health services, the health of Indigenous prisoners and comparisons with the general community and internationally. The 2009 report provides a baseline to monitor prisoner health over time.
Thursday 3 June 2010
Further information:Ms Ingrid Johnston, AIHW, 02 6244 1211, mob. 0407 915 851
For media copies of the report: Publications Officer, AIHW, tel. (02) 6244 1032.
The health of Australia's prisoners 2009