Passports to advantage:Health and capacity building as a basis for social integration
Kinner, Stuart A
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Released prisoners are characterised by chronic social disadvantage, poor physical and mental health, and high rates of substance misuse – a continuation of problems experienced prior to imprisonment. High rates of recidivism and fatal drug overdose post-release indicate that integration of ex-prisoners is often unsuccessful. Despite this, remarkably little is known about recently released prisoners and it is thus difficult to formulate evidence-based policies for this group. The stated policy of most correctional services in Australia is one of ‘throughcare’, which implies continuity of needs- and evidence-based service provision from the moment of reception, through to return to the community and beyond. At present, however, there is a dearth of evidence-based services and support for ex-prisoners. This presentation will review the evidence regarding the experiences of released prisoners and consider models of post-release service provision. One promising model, which aims to proactively improve health and capacity and thereby promote integration, will be described. A randomised controlled trial of this model has recently been funded by the NHMRC; the rationale, aims and key features of this model will be discussed.