Centre of Research Excellence in Offender Health

Date Commenced:
2014
Project Status
Ongoing
Expected Date of Completion:
2018
Project Supporters

NHMRC

Currently recruiting
Yes
Centre of Research Excellence in Offender Health

About the Project

The Australian Centre of Research Excellence (CRE) in Offender Health was funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council in 2013.  Prior to this CRE, there was no national (or international) centre focused on offender health, despite the large discrepancies that exist between the overall health of prisoners and those in the general population.

The CRE in Offender Health brings together a team of internationally recognised researchers from across Australia who specialise in various aspects of offender health to advance research and policy in the area and to improve health outcomes for this population group.  The CRE prioritises two overall research themes – mental health and infectious diseases – both are in line with national priority areas and reflect the burden of diseases posed by these areas on the offender population.  The two primary themes fall under three research strands: Surveillance and monitoring, Treatment interventions and Evaluation.

https://offenderhealth.net.au/

Rationale

Prisoners have some of the worst health outcomes of any population group and are one of the most marginalised and stigmatised groups in Australia.  Each year more than 50,000 people cycle through Australian prisons, with the number of ex-prisoners in the community estimated to be around 400,000 nationally.  Due to lack of engagement with health services, many of these individuals enter the criminal justice system with pre-existing health conditions and most go undetected or untreated during incarceration.  Epidemiological studies have consistently shown rates of mental illness and bloodborne viral infections (e.g. hepatitis C and hepatitis B) to be much higher among prisoners than in the general population.  In addition to this, many engage in health risk behaviours such as injecting drug use, tobacco and other drug use at high levels.  Prisoners also show increased mortality particularly from drug overdose, suicide and violence.

Aims

The CRE  in Offender Health is committed to the conduct of infectious diseases and mental health research that is innovative, policy-relevant and culturally appropriate so that improved health outcomes are achieved for those in contact with the criminal justice system.

Progress/Update

A full list of projects that fall under the CRE in Offender Health can be found at: https://offenderhealth.net.au/

Benefits

The CRE brings together a team of internationally recognised researchers from across Australia who specialise in various aspects of offender health to advance research and policy in the area and to improve health outcomes for this population group.  The CRE will also establish a national offender health working group and national communicable diseases and forensic mental health networks.

Project Members
image - 1338431618 Tony Butler
Professor and Program Head
Ph +61 2 9385 9257
image - 1343779820 Kirby Logo On White
Research Fellow
Ph 9385 1925
image - 1338431796 Paul Simpson
Research Fellow
Ph +61 (0)2 9385 9263
image - 11898791 10153057603981246 1838296539604066077 N 0
Research Associate
Ph +61 (2) 9385 9251
image - Kirby Logo On White 22
Research Fellow
Ph +612 9385 9003
image - 1343191084 Lise Replace
Research Associate
Ph +61 (2) 9385 9264
image - 1338431657 Michael Doyle2
Casual Academic
Ph +61 (0)2 9385 9259
image - Lee Knight
Clinical Coordinator, Conjoint Lecturer, Online Tutor (Master of Forensic Mental Health)
Ph 0431 057810
image - 1339124418 Jk2
Professor and Program Head
Ph +61 (0)2 9385 0961
Other Investigators

A/Prof Peter Schofield, Prof Andrew Lloyd, A/Prof Kimberlie Dean, Dr Georgina Chambers, Dr Jill Guthrie, Mr James Ward, Prof David Greenberg, Prof Phillip Mitchell

Project Collaborators: External

Australian National University, The University of Newcastle, Justice Health & Forensic Mental Health Network, South Australian Health & Medical Research Institute

Project Contacts

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