Prevention and management of drug use in prisons

Drugs and alcohol Australia Victoria

There is a strong relationship between excessive alcohol and other drug (AOD) use with criminal activity and reoffending. Prisoners have poorer levels of physical and mental health than the general population, with excessive AOD use being a primary contributor. Therefore preventing access to AOD while in prison and effectively treating and addressing AOD problems is likely to assist in the rehabilitation of prisoners, reduce future offending and improve prisoners' health outcomes.

This audit assessed the effectiveness of the strategies and programs implemented by the Department of Justice, through Corrections Victoria and Justice Health, to reduce the supply of, demand for, and harm caused by drugs in prisons.

The audit found that despite the high numbers of prisoners entering the prison system with drug problems, Corrections Victoria is generally effective at preventing drugs from entering prisons and detecting drugs that get past its barrier controls. Both Corrections Victoria and Justice Health are also appropriately identifying and managing prisoners with drug issues. However, the Department of Justice needs to place greater emphasis on performance reporting and evaluation to be able to determine just how effective its drug-related strategies and programs are.

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