Background

The National Prisoner Health Information Committee (NPHIC) is the principle advisory body for the national prisoner health indicators and the national prisoner health data set.

Reporting structure

The work of the NPHIC relies on a memorandum of understanding between the AIHW and the state and territory departments responsible for the administration of prison health services. The conducting of the triennial national census of prisoner health as part of the National Prisoner Health Data Collection is further supported by the Corrective Services Administrators Council.

An overview of the reporting structure is provided in the figure below.

Terms of reference

The National Prisoner Health Information Committee (NPHIC) is a national committee aiming to help improve the health and wellbeing of prisoners throughout Australia by informing discussion, policy development and decision-making. It aims to do this by advising and assisting in the development, provision and interpretation of statistics and information on prisoner health. The NPHIC arose out of the time-limited National Prisoner Information Group (PHIG) which was formed to establish and develop a data collection.

The membership of the NPHIC comprises a representative from those government agencies responsible for the administration of prison health services within each of the 8 Australian States and Territories. These representatives are the voting members of the NPHIC. Where multiple agencies within a jurisdiction have a shared responsibility for such services, a representative from each agency may be nominated as a member of the NPHIC; however, each jurisdiction is responsible for appointing a single voting member when a vote is required.

The Chair of the NPHIC is also a voting member, and will hold this position for a 2-year period.

Non-voting members of the NPHIC include the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), the Corrective Services Administrators Council (CSAC) and 2 positions for subject matter experts in the field of prisoner health. The number of positions for subject matter experts may be increased or decreased with the agreement of the committee. Secretariat support to the NPHIC is provided by the AIHW.

Voting members are responsible for representing the view of their respective jurisdictions, for the provision of data from their jurisdiction to the national data collection, and for the provision of appropriate funding to the AIHW to support the national data collection. Non-voting members have a range of responsibilities. The AIHW is responsible for collating and analysing national prisoner health data, and producing reports and bulletins for publication. The ABS and subject matter experts have an advisory role. The CSAC representative is responsible for keeping the CSAC informed of work being undertaken by the NPHIC.

A quorum is reached when at least 5 jurisdictions are present or otherwise able to vote. Consensus is considered to be a majority of voting members, once a quorum is reached.

Functions of the National Prisoner Health Information Committee

  • advise on national statistical and information needs in relation to prisoner health; and
  • assist in developing and providing the relevant statistics and information.

Specific tasks of the National Prisoner Health Information Committee

  • maintenance and ongoing development of national prisoner health indicators and the national prisoner health data set;
  • production of national reports and other national publications on prisoner health;
  • as appropriate, provision of reports to a range of other groups, such as the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Standing Committee (NATSIHSC), Corrective Services Administrators Conference (CSAC), and the Steering Committee for the Review of Government Service Provision (SCPGSP).

Membership

Specialist and diverse knowledge is required for the NPHIC. NPHIC members bring with them a wide range of experience in issues related to prisoner health and the administration of associated services.

Membership of the NPHIC consists of:

  • The Chair, a jurisdictional representative appointed by voting members of the NPHIC.
  • State and Territory representatives from the departments responsible for the administration of prison health services:
  • Justice Health & Forensic Mental Health Network, New South Wales
  • Justice and Regulation, Victoria
  • Queensland Health, Queensland
  • Department of Justice, Western Australia
  • South Australia Health, South Australia
  • Department of Health and Human Services, Tasmania
  • Australian Capital Territory Health, Australian Capital Territory
  • Department of Corrective Services, Northern Territory
  • Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)
  • Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW)
  • Corrective Services Administrators Council (CSAC)
  • A minimum of two subject matter experts with expertise in prisoner health, Indigenous health or mental health.

Secretariat

Secretariat support is provided by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, Child Welfare and Prisoner Health Unit, Canberra.

Contact details for the Secretariat are:

Postal address

NPHIC Secretariat

PO Box 570

Canberra

ACT 2601

Telephone

Facsimile

(02) 6244 1000

(02) 6244 1299

Email address

[email protected]