Talking Point: A system for routine monitoring of deaths after release from prison

This event was one of our Talking Point series. It was delivered on 1 April 2016.

People released from prison are at markedly increased risk of preventable death. This risk is orders of magnitude higher after release than in prison custody. However, despite well-established systems for monitoring deaths in custody in a number of countries including Australia, no country has established a system for routine monitoring of mortality in persons recently released from prison.

In this presentation Professor Kinner describes the development and validation of a system for routine monitoring of deaths in adults recently released from prison using Centrelink data. He presents estimates of mortality within 28 days and 365 days of release from prison for each year 2000 to 2013.

Routine surveillance of mortality is a critical component of a responsive, evidence-based health system, but should complement rather than replace targeted research. The presentation concludes with discussion of some recent, current and planned research exploring mortality outcomes for adults and young people released from custody.

Professor Stuart Kinner, School of Criminology and Criminal Justice and Head, Correctional Health Program, Griffith Criminology Institute and Menzies Health Institute Queensland.

Professor Stuart Kinner is an NHMRC Senior Research Fellow with cross-faculty membership of the Griffith Criminology Institute and Menzies Health Institute Queensland. He also holds Honorary appointments at The University of Melbourne, Monash University, The University of Queensland, and Murdoch Childrens Research Institute.

Stuart has a PhD in forensic psychology and over the past 15 years has led a program of research focussed on the health of justice-involved populations, particularly prisoners and ex-prisoners. He sits on the Board of Directors for the NIDA-sponsored Academic Consortium on Criminal Justice Health, co-convenes the Justice Health Special Interest Group in the Public Health Association of Australia, and since 2005 has served on Australia’s National Prisoner Health Information Committee.