The number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in adult and juvenile corrections settings continues to increase despite the recommendations of the 1991 Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody. Of the total prisoner population on 30 June 2008, for example, 7% were female and 24% were Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.8 In June 2004, there were 785 young people in juvenile detention centres around Australia and 45 per cent of these were Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.9
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners are at increased risk of BBV transmission (especially viral hepatitis), physical violence, sexual assault and isolation. Limited access to confidential and culturally appropriate health services exacerbates these problems. Even upon release, numerous challenges that can prevent health and wellbeing remain. These include stigmatisation, social and cultural exclusion, and inadequate access to support networks and health and social services.
Top of Page
8ABS Census 2008.
9ABS Census 2006.