Model of Care for Aboriginal Prisoner Health and Wellbeing for South Australia

Leda Sivak, Luke Cantley, Janet Kelly, Rachel Reilly, Karen Hawke, Kathy Mott, Harold Stewart, Andrea McKivett, Shereen Rankine, Adrian Coulthard, Waylon Miller, Alex Brown

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


Australian Aboriginal people living within prisons have complex health needs. For many, the isolation from family and community compounds the profound intergenerational trauma, associated grief and loss, and resulting mental illness and other chronic health conditions, such as diabetes, heart and respiratory diseases, cancer, sexual health issues, substance misuse disorders and blood borne viruses. In early 2017, the South Australian Prison Health Service (SAPHS) engaged Wardliparingga, the Aboriginal health research unit at the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI), to design a model of care that attends to the broad needs of the Aboriginal adult prisoner population (male and female) within the nine prisons across South Australia (SA). The project used a qualitative, mixed-methods approach, including: rapid review of relevant literature; stakeholder consultations with 103 people, including Aboriginal prisoners and health and correctional staff within eight of the nine prisons in SA and a stakeholder workshop with an additional 30+ interested parties.
The resulting SA Model of Care for Aboriginal Prisoner Health and Wellbeing has the following components: overarching design; theoretical basis with principles; evidence base; standards; core elements; and key considerations. It is holistic, person-centred, and underpinned by the provision of culturally appropriate care. It recognises that Aboriginal prisoners are members of communities both inside and outside of prison, and that released into the community at the completion of their sentences is often challenging. It notes the unique needs of remanded and sentenced prisoners and differing needs associated with gender.
Original languageEnglish
Commissioning bodySouth Australian Prison Health Service
Number of pages77
Publication statusIn preparation - 1 Nov 2017


  • Aboriginal people
  • Prison Health Service
  • Prisoner Health
  • Model of Care

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