Are Australian prisons meeting the needs of Indigenous offenders?

Stephane M. Shepherd, James R.P. Ogloff, Stuart D.M. Thomas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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.

Original languageEnglish
Article number13
JournalHealth and Justice
Volume4
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Correctional Health care
  • Indigenous offenders
  • Prisoners
  • Psychological distress
  • Risk needs
  • Violence

Cite this

Shepherd, Stephane M. ; Ogloff, James R.P. ; Thomas, Stuart D.M. / Are Australian prisons meeting the needs of Indigenous offenders?. In: Health and Justice. 2016 ; Vol. 4, No. 1.
@article{bba098ad908f45f8a872658b45d5d99c,
title = "Are Australian prisons meeting the needs of Indigenous offenders?",
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.",
keywords = "Correctional Health care, Indigenous offenders, Prisoners, Psychological distress, Risk needs, Violence",
author = "Shepherd, {Stephane M.} and Ogloff, {James R.P.} and Thomas, {Stuart D.M.}",
year = "2016",
month = "12",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1186/s40352-016-0045-7",
language = "English",
volume = "4",
journal = "Health and Justice",
issn = "2194-7899",
publisher = "Springer-Verlag London Ltd.",
number = "1",

}

Are Australian prisons meeting the needs of Indigenous offenders? / Shepherd, Stephane M.; Ogloff, James R.P.; Thomas, Stuart D.M.

In: Health and Justice, Vol. 4, No. 1, 13, 01.12.2016.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Are Australian prisons meeting the needs of Indigenous offenders?

AU - Shepherd, Stephane M.

AU - Ogloff, James R.P.

AU - Thomas, Stuart D.M.

PY - 2016/12/1

Y1 - 2016/12/1

N2 - 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.

AB - 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.

KW - Correctional Health care

KW - Indigenous offenders

KW - Prisoners

KW - Psychological distress

KW - Risk needs

KW - Violence

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85002655695&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1186/s40352-016-0045-7

DO - 10.1186/s40352-016-0045-7

M3 - Article

VL - 4

JO - Health and Justice

JF - Health and Justice

SN - 2194-7899

IS - 1

M1 - 13

ER -