Imprisonment and Crime Wave

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The Effects of Imprisonment on Inmates’ and their Families’ Health and Wellbeing

prepared for The National Health Committee

by Dr Michael Roguski and Fleur Chauvel

November 2009

The Effect of Imprisonment on Inmates’ and their Families’ Health and Wellbeing

Contents

Summary........................................................................................................................................... iii 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Introduction........................................................................................................................ 1 Approach ........................................................................................................................... 3 Prison Culture.................................................................................................................... 6 Primary Health Care........................................................................................................ 20 Mental Health .................................................................................................................. 34 Dental .............................................................................................................................. 43 Impact on Family ............................................................................................................. 49 Post-release Continuity of Care ...................................................................................... 59

Appendix 1: Incidence of Health Care Needs Reported by Participants......................................... 63 Appendix 2: Pre-release Interview Schedule .................................................................................. 64 Appendix 3: Post-release Interview Schedule ................................................................................ 74

Acknowledgements We are privileged to have had this opportunity to carry out this important study on the effects of imprisonment on inmates’ and their families’ health and wellbeing. We thank the Department of Corrections who have made this research possible. Particular thanks goes to the many Corrections Officers who kindly facilitated our presence within prison and offered much assistance during the process. Thank you also to the National Health Committee for their commitment to the project and enabling this opportunity. We would like to thank Liza Wilcox for expertly guiding the process. Finally, we thank all research participants, both inmates and whānau, for their invaluable input.

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The Effect of Imprisonment on Inmates’ and their Families’ Health and Wellbeing

Summary
Background
As there is little New Zealand-focused information about prisoners’ health-related prison experiences and continuity of care following release from prison, the National Health Committee developed a Health of Prisoners and their Families work programme. The study aimed to explore the effects of incarceration on prisoners’ and their families’ health and wellbeing. Rather than a study that sought to generalise findings across prisoner and families, the study aimed to gather a selection of prisoners’ and their families’ in-depth lived experiences. Within this aim, the study was developed to address the following objectives: 1. Seek prisoners’ views on the effects of imprisonment on their health and wellbeing one to two months before their scheduled release from prison and up to two months following their release. 2. Seek prisoners’ views on health and disability services within prison and continuity of care upon release. 3. Seeks prisoners’ views on how imprisonment may have impacted on their family’s health and wellbeing. 4. Seek the views of one family member on the effects of imprisonment on the prisoner’s health and wellbeing. 5. Seek the views of one family member on the effects of imprisonment on their family’s health and wellbeing.

Approach
Sixty-three inmates participated in...
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