The objective of the SA Prison Health Service (SAPHS) was to design a model of care that attends to the broad needs of the Aboriginal adult prisoner population (male and female) within the nine adult prisons across South Australia. 

The project used a qualitative mixed method approach.
Methods included:
1. Rapid review of relevant literature
2. Stakeholder consultations
3. Stakeholder workshop

The stakeholder consultations identified key themes that informed many of the components of the draft model of care. Priority conditions identified during the consultations included: genderspecific needs; chronic conditions; mental illness; communicable diseases; substance misuse disorders and disability.
Core Elements identified during the consultations included: pre-release planning; culture, spirit, and identity; communication; access and continuity; family; flexible pathways; recovery, rehabilitation, therapeutic services; and patient linked to community services prior to release.
The findings of the stakeholder workshop directly informed the final overarching design and detailed framework for the model of care.

Key Findings:

  • It is recommended that the SAPHS adopt the SA Aboriginal Prisoner Health and Wellbeing Model of Care and plan for its implementation during 2018.
  • Establish a strategy to ensure a gender-and culturally diverse Prison Health Service workforce to provide culturally appropriate care to all Aboriginal prisoners.
  • Ensure staff who facilitate release of prisoners are aware of the health needs of the prisoner upon release and are able to access information on agencies such as housing, transport and social services in the post-release setting to improve pre-release planning from entry and direct patients to community services.
  • Develop a program of health literacy improvement amongst Aboriginal prisoners to improve prisoners’ understandings of their diagnoses, decisions and processes of care and support selfmanagement.
  • Establish facilities in all prisons to support the use of telehealth and videoconferencing for Aboriginal prisoners to access specialist assessments, treatments and care and avoid unnecessary, costly and disruptive transfers.

If SAPHS and Department of Correctional Services (DCS) work together to implement the 49 recommendations in this report, they will also facilitate the implementation of 23 of the 33 recommendations from the Department for Correctional Services Strategic Policy Panel Report, Reducing Reoff ending – 10% by 2020, as well as at least 20 of the 339 recommendations from the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody.



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