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Health and ageing of Australia's prisoners 2018 

Older prisoners in Australia are a growing part of Australia’s prison population—since 2009, those aged 45 and over increased by 79%. This report explores the social, economic and lifestyle factors that could impact on older people’s health in prison. Older people in prison were more likely to have a chronic health condition, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes, and be prescribed medications for these conditions compared to younger people.

Youth detention population in Australia 2019 

This bulletin presents information on the youth detention population in Australia from June 2015 to June 2019. Among the 949 young people in detention on an average night in the June quarter 2019, most were male (90%), aged 10–17 (83%), unsentenced (63%), and Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander (53%). Over the 4-year period, the number of young people in detention fluctuated across quarters with no clear trend. 

Australia's welfare 2019: in brief 

Australia’s welfare 2019: in brief tells the story of welfare in Australia with key findings on housing, education and skills, employment and work, income and finance: government payments, social support, justice and safety, and Indigenous Australians.

Australia’s welfare 2019 is the 14th biennial welfare report of the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. This edition introduces a new format and expanded product suite:

Medication use by Australia's prisoners 2015: how is it different from the general community? 

This bulletin compares medications taken by prisoners with people in the general community. The poor health and complex health needs of prisoners are reflected in the number and types of medications they take. Prisoners were more likely than those in the general community to be taking medication for health problems including mental health issues, addictions and chronic conditions. Contextual information from a focus group of prison health professionals is used to discuss some of the differences between prescribing in a prison and in the general community.

The health of Australia's prisoners 2015 

The health of Australia’s prisoners 2015 is the 4th report produced by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare on the health and wellbeing of prisoners. The report explores the conditions and diseases experienced by prisoners; compares, where possible, the health of prisoners to the general Australian community and provides valuable insight into the use of prison health services. New to the 2015 report are data on the disabilities or long-term health conditions of prisoners entering the prison system (prison entrants), self-assessed mental and physical health status of prisoners and data on smoke-free prisons.

Prisoner health services in Australia 2012 

This bulletin provides an overview of health services in Australian prisons. It draws on data available from the 2012 National Prisoner Health Data Collection, supplemented by contextual information provided by state/territory departments responsible for prisoner health, to bring together a more comprehensive picture of services delivered to prisoners than has previously been available. The governance of health care in prisons in Australia is complex, with diverse services delivered, including some outside the prison.

Smoking and quitting smoking among prisoners 2012 

This bulletin presents results from the 2012 National Prisoner Health Data Collection, focusing on smoking and smoking cessation behaviours of prisoners in Australia. In 2012, 84% of prison entrants were current smokers, which is around 5 times the proportion of the general community. Quitting smoking in prison is difficult: 35% of prisoners who were about to be released tried to quit during their time in prison, but only 8% were successful.

The health of Australia's prisoners 2012 

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.

The mental health of prison entrants in Australia: 2010 

This bulletin reports on the mental health of prison entrants, based on data from the 2010 National Prisoner Health Census. In 2010: - Nearly one third of prison entrants reported that they had mental health issues (a rate 2.5 times higher than the general population) - 16% of prison entrants took medication for mental health issues - 3 in 4 prison entrants who were taking mental health medication also used illicit drugs during the previous 12 months

The health of Australia's prisoners 2010 

The health of Australia's prisoners 2010 is the second report on indicators of prisoner health in Australia. The two-week snapshot showed that: almost 1 in 3 prison entrants had ever been told they have a mental health disorder and 1 in 5 prisoners in custody were taking medication for a mental health condition. More than 4 in 5 prison entrants currently smoked tobacco; over half reported drinking alcohol at risk levels; and 2 in 3 had used illicit drugs during the previous 12 months. Further, more than 1 in 3 prison entrants had not completed Year 10 at school; and 1 in 4 prison entrants had a chronic condition such as asthma, cardiovascular disease or diabetes. The report also contains data relating to communicable diseases, deaths in custody, and the use of prison health services.

The health of Australia's prisoners 2009 

The health of Australia's prisoners 2009 is the culmination of several years' development of national indicators in relation to prisoner health in Australia. This first national report shows that prisoners in Australia have poor health compared to the general community. A week-long snapshot of prison entrants in Australia during 2009 showed: 25% had a chronic condition (such as asthma, cardiovascular disease or diabetes); 81% were current smokers; 52% consumed alcohol at risky levels; and 71% had used illicit drugs during the previous 12 months; 37% of prison entrants reported having received a mental health diagnosis at some time, 43% had received a head injury resulting in a loss of consciousness, and 31% had been referred to prison mental health services. The report also contains data relating to communicable diseases, educational attainment, deaths in custody, the use of health services and the types of medications used by prisoners.

From corrections to community: a set of indicators of the health of Australia's prisoners 

The National Prisoner Health Indicators project is developing a national data collection on the health of Australia's prisoners. This document outlines the Indicators to be reported on, which have been written in consultation with experts in the field. These indicators will assist in monitoring the health of prisoners, information prisoner health service planning and delivery, and evaluating the provision of services.

Prisoner health in Australia: contemporary information collection and a way forward 

The prison population is known to have relatively poor health, with the poor mental health of prisoners a particular concern. A significant proportion of people in the prison system are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Despite the needs of prisoners, and the association between prisoners' health and the health of the wider community, there is remarkably little national information available on prisoners. Most health information is either collected through ad hoc surveys or is paper-based and remains in medical records. This report highlights the need for reliable national information about the health of prisoners at the point of reception, during custody, and at release and post-release. It contains a national audit of current health information collected by each jurisdiction, and lays the foundation for the development of national prisoner health indicators.

Towards a national prisoner health information system 

Toward a national prisoner health information system calls for an integrated national approach to prisoner health information, to support improved prisoner health. The report notes that the large and growing population of prisoners in Australia presents a strong challenge to the public's health. There is an opportunity to intervene and treat prisoners while in prison, leading to their better health, and subsequently reducing risks to the community on their release. But to do this effectively, better health information is needed. The report describes the key issues in the development, collection, management and use of health information relating to prisoners. It summarises the prisoner health information we currently have, highlights some of the gaps, and sets out the priorities for future development.

A prisoner health information system 

This report describes key issues in the development, collection, use and management of health information relating to prisoners. It sets out methods by which information can be collected about health and risk factor status, health care needs and health service usage, and identifies the key stakeholders in the field. The report will be useful to policy makers, health administrators, health information managers and prison health service providers.