Complex health-related needs among young, soon-to-be-released prisoners
1 Queensland Centre for Intellectual and Developmental Disability, School of Medicine, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia
2 Blood Borne Viruses and Sexually Transmissible Infections, Queensland Department of Health, Brisbane, Australia
3 Centre for Health Policy, Programs and Economics, Melbourne School of Population Health The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia
4 School of Medicine, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia
5 School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia
6 Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, Melbourne, Australia
Health and Justice 2013, 1:1 doi:10.1186/2194-7899-1-1Published: 24 October 2013
To estimate the prevalence and co-occurrence of health-related needs among young people aged 18 to 24 years transitioning out of adult prisons.
Data came from face-to-face, confidential interviews with adult prisoners aged 18–24 years in seven adult prisons in Queensland, Australia. We identified the prevalence and co-occurrence of overlapping health-related needs using an Australian health performance framework with four domains: physical health, mental health, risky substance use and socioeconomic disadvantage.
Most young prisoners experience multiple and complex health problems prior to their release: 98% of young prisoners reported at least one indicator of poor health, and 30% reported at least one indicator of poor health in all four evaluated domains.
Young people in adult prisons report a high prevalence of health problems across multiple domains. Addressing these complex needs will require coordinated service delivery across health-related sectors both in custody and after release.