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The A prospective cohort study of ex-prisoners with a history of injecting drug use study aims to understand prisoner health needs and how they relate to drug use, mental health, recidivism, and the continued cycling of high-risk populations through the justice system. It also aims to identify the extent to which these are identified and appropriate responses integrated into pre and post-release care plans. Interviews with 600 prisoners who have a history of injecting drug use will be conducted in the weeks leading up to their release and then followed up three months, one year and two years after their release.
Interviews will cover demographics, drug use and treatment histories, pre and post-release service access and utilisation, criminal involvement and incarceration history, drug using risk behaviours and standardised measures of health.
Data collection will also involve the collection of blood samples to examine the pre and post-release exposures to blood borne viruses, and record linkage to health and law enforcement data bases will compliment this data.
Conducted in collaboration with Justice Health (Victoria) and researchers from the University of New South Wales and Monash University, this project will provide important insights to inform policy and practice to prevent ongoing morbidity and recidivism and re-incarceration in this population.
Abstract adapted from the Burnet Institute
Doctor Mark A Stoove
Senior Research Fellow
Head of HIV, AIDS and STI Research
Centre for Population Health
Ph: (03) 8506 2301