• Print

released: 24 Jul 2013 author: AIHW media release

Prisoners have significant health issues, with high rates of mental health problems, communicable diseases, alcohol misuse, smoking and illicit drug use. 38% of prison entrants have ever been told they have a mental illness, 32% have a chronic condition. 84% are current smokers, but almost half of them would like to quit. 37% of prisoners about to be released said their health was a lot better than when they entered prison.

ISBN 978-1-74249-464-7; Cat. no. PHE 170; 196pp.; $68

printed copy

Publication

Publication table of contents

  • Preliminary pages
    • Title & verso title
    • Contents
    • Acknowledgments
    • Abbreviations
    • Symbols
    • Summary
    • Snapshot of the health of Australia's prisoners
  • Body content
    • Section 1: Overview
      • 1 Introduction
        • 1.1 Background
        • 1.2 Prisoner health services in Australia
        • 1.3 The prison environment
        • 1.4 Method
        • 1.5 Report structure
      • 2 Demographic information
        • 2.1 Australia's prisoners
        • 2.2 Prison entrants
        • 2.3 Prison dischargees
        • 2.4 Profiles of different prison populations
      • 3 Socioeconomic factors
        • 3.1 Cultural background
        • 3.2 Detention history
        • 3.3 Education level
        • 3.4 Employment and government support
        • 3.5 Homelessness
        • 3.6 Family
    • Section 2: Mental health
      • 4 Mental health before and whilein prison
        • 4.1 Mental health history
        • 4.2 Changes to mental health while in prison
        • 4.3 Recent psychological distress
        • 4.4 Mental health medication
        • 4.5 Prison entrants referred to prison mental health services
      • 5 Self-harm
        • 5.1 Self-harm behaviour
        • 5.2 Identification of self-harm or suicide risk
    • Section 3: Physical health
      • 6 Communicable diseases
        • 6.1 Sexually transmitted infection
        • 6.2 Bloodborne viruses
        • 6.3 Surveillance
        • 6.4 Medication for hepatitis C
      • 7 Chronic conditions
        • 7.1 Asthma
        • 7.2 Arthritis
        • 7.3 Cardiovascular disease
        • 7.4 Diabetes
        • 7.5 Cancer
        • 7.6 Comparison with the general community
      • 8 Activity and weight changes among dischargees
      • 9 Aspects of women's health
        • 9.1 Pregnancies
        • 9.2 Women's cancer screening
    • Section 4: Risky behaviours
  • End matter
    • Appendix A: List of indicators
    • Appendix B: Data quality statement-National Prisoner Health Data Collection
    • Appendix C: Tables Appendix C to I (1.6MB PDF)
    • Appendix D: Data sources
    • Appendix E: Prisoner health services in Australia
    • Appendix F: Key policy directions
    • Appendix G: Prisoner health legislation in Australia
    • Appendix H: Prisons in Australia
    • Appendix I: Prisoner health data collection forms
    • Glossary
    • References
    • List of tables
    • List of figures

Notes and corrections

The current version of the publication is presented above.

Previous versions of files that have been updated or corrected are presented below.

  1. (16 Dec 2013) Updates to both publication (including summary) and report profile.
    Data correction to p.44 – section titled 'Prisoners in custody'. Multiple corrections made to Tables 4.5 and 4.6. Rows labelled 'Total taking any mental health medication' were previously (incorrectly) a count of mental health medications rather than a count of individuals talking mental health medication. This has been corrected.
    Minor data correction  to p.87 – Table 11.2. Corrected Total (number and per cent) for 'Ex or non-smoker'. 
    Previous version-The health of Australia's prisoners 2012 (4.3MB PDF)
    Previous version-The health of Australia's prisoners 2012 report profile (1.7MB PDF)

Recommended citation

AIHW 2013. The health of Australia's prisoners 2012. Cat. no. PHE 170. Canberra: AIHW.