Department of Correctional Services

The Health of Australia’s prisoners 2015 report highlights the significant overlap between the determinants of health and wellbeing and the risk factors for imprisonment. Furthermore, it has been established that the prison population is a vulnerable population group due to the over-representation of people from low socioeconomic backgrounds and Aboriginal People as compared to the general population.

This partnership between the Department for Correctional Services (DCS) and the Department for Health and Wellbeing (DHW) takes note of these realities and through a range of collaborative measures, aims to ensure the health and wellbeing of prisoners whilst they are in the State’s care, as well as that of corrections staff. This will support better life outcomes post-release from prison and contribute to reducing the risk of recidivism in addition to improving corrections staff wellbeing and retention.

The PHPA will be actioned through a combination of broad policies, programs, and targeted initiatives based on the following areas of mutual interest:

  • Improving Nutrition
  • Smokefree Prisons
  • Health Expo Events
  • Alcohol and other Drugs
  • Rehabilitation
  • Reducing Reoffending

The first initial focus will be on improving nutrition within prisons, ensuring all prisoners have access to a safe and nutritional food supply, and to contribute to reducing the prevalence of chronic disease.

The partnership will also support the elimination of smoking from all South Australian prisons. Drug and Alcohol Services South Australia (DASSA) are working closely with DCS to roll out the smokefree policy, with all South Australian prisons and prison grounds to be smokefree by the end of 2019.