Are Australian prisons meeting the needs of Indigenous offenders?

Shepherd, S, Ogloff, J and Thomas, S 2016, 'Are Australian prisons meeting the needs of Indigenous offenders?', Health and Justice, vol. 4, no. 1, 13, pp. 1-9.

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Are Australian prisons meeting the needs of Indigenous offenders?
Author(s) Shepherd, S
Ogloff, J
Thomas, S
Year 2016
Journal name Health and Justice
Volume number 4
Issue number 1
Article Number 13
Start page 1
End page 9
Total pages 9
Publisher SpringerOpen
Abstract Background: The over-representation of Indigenous Australians in custody is well documented, yet little is known about whether the health and social needs of Indigenous prisoners are met in correctional facilities. This study sought to identify common areas of need in a representative sample of Indigenous people in custody, and consider how well prison services were addressing these issues. Methods: The sample comprised 122 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in custody in Victoria. Participants were administered the Camberwell Assessment of Need Forensic-Short Version to ascertain the presence or absence of needs in custody. Statistical analyses to determine associations with re-offence were conducted. Results: Findings indicated that prisons were able to meet the non-criminogenic needs of many offenders; however there was a limited capacity to address specific criminogenic needs. Psychological distress, substance abuse, poor treatment adherence and threatening behaviours were considered ongoing needs regardless of supports/interventions being provided. Moreover, these four unaddressed needs were all associated with future recidivism. Conclusions: Effective prison treatment services focusing on these four areas of need are urgently required. Such initiatives require continuation post-release combined with additional assistance to uphold basic non-criminogenic needs acquired in prison.
Subject Correctional Theory, Offender Treatment and Rehabilitation
Keyword(s) Correctional Health care
Indigenous offenders
Psychological distress
Risk needs
DOI - identifier 10.1186/s40352-016-0045-7
Copyright notice © The Author(s)
ISSN 2194-7899
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