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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 119125 Find in a Library
Title: Prison Health Issues (From Current Australian Trends in Corrections, P 148-155, 1988, David Biles, ed. -- See NCJ-119105)
Author(s): K O'Brien
Date Published: 1988
Page Count: 8
Sponsoring Agency: Federation Press (Distributed by Gaunt)
Annandale, NSW 2038, Australia
Sale Source: Federation Press (Distributed by Gaunt)
71 Johnson Street
P.O. Box 45
Annandale, NSW 2038,
Australia
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Language: English
Country: Australia
Annotation: The psychiatrically disordered and mentally retarded prison inmates represent one of Australia's most disadvantaged groups and need strong new efforts and changed approaches if services are to meet at least the standards recommended in the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the treatment of prisoners.
Abstract: The first recommendation of these rules is that every institution have available the services of at least one qualified medical officer with some knowledge of psychiatry. City prisons in Australia probably meet this standard. However, non-metropolitan facilities do not, although a transfer mechanism may sometimes meet that standard. In addition, treatment facilities are inadequate. The general neglect is clearly evident not only in terms of lack of facilities, resources, and staffing but also in terms of fairly generalized apathy, indifference, and even opposition to services being provided for prisoners. Pejorative values and prejudicial views are common in correctional staff, government bureaucrats, politicians, and some professionals. Thus it is doubtful that most Australian jurisdictions satisfy the requirements of the United Nations standards. Data are also lacking on the numbers and types of needs. Efforts are needed to ensure that once offenders are identified, they should be transferred out of the prison system at least during the acute phase of the treatment, because typical correctional systems are anti-therapeutic. Alternatives include mental hospitals, annexes to mental hospitals, a special facility, mental health services within prison health services, and a special hospital annex within the correctional system. 14 references.
Main Term(s): Offender mental health services
Index Term(s): Australia; Corrections standards; Foreign inmate programs; United Nations standards
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=119125

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