Major Health Interventions Expanded To People On Remand


People on remand in NSW prisons will have greater access to rehabilitation and treatment for drug use following a major expansion of health intervention programs by the Justice Health and Forensic Mental Health Network (Justice Health NSW).

The expansion follows a $2.5M funding boost for evidence-based interventions and treatment for priority populations – a direct outcome of the Special Commission of Inquiry into the Drug Ice.

Justice Health NSW Chief Executive Wendy Hoey said people entering custody were in real need of health care which enables them to have improved health outcomes.

“The reality is many people entering custody are in a vulnerable position and are impacted by or recovering from recent drug use,” Ms Hoey said.

“Until now, there has been limited health programs to complement prison addiction programs available to the remand population. Introducing these health interventions to people on remand will see them receive the health care they need, at the time they need it most.”

The expansion will see direct, one-on-one health interventions offered to people entering custody who are experiencing drug related harm supporting them to manage their health and make healthier decisions.

Since May 2023, 2640 patients received a brief intervention, such as counselling and health education, across 24 correctional centres. Of these, 42 per cent of these were delivered to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and 21 per cent delivered to women.

This is in addition to group-based addiction programs delivered by Corrective Services NSW.

A bolstered team of more than 50 drug and alcohol clinicians is now engaging patients across the state to deliver psychosocial interventions which supports them to lead healthier lives.

These interventions support patients experiencing substance related harm to help control their triggers and cravings, allow them to see the consequences of their use and support them to set achievable health goals.

“The last thing we want to see is a revolving door of people in and out of custody whose offending is driven by interactions with drugs,” Ms Hoey said.

“We need to improve the health of people in custody at all stages of the criminal justice system so that when they return to the community, they have a chance to succeed and live a healthier life. That’s good for them, and for the community at large as it means less recidivism.”

Justice Health NSW provides health care to people in contact with the criminal justice system including public correctional centres and remand centres.

For more details on Justice Health NSW, visit:

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