Criminal justice contact and health amongst people who inject drugs in Greater Brisbane, Queensland: Findings from the Illicit Drug Reporting System
Aug 26, 2022
The Illicit Drug Reporting System (IDRS) recently released a bulletin titled, “Criminal justice contact and health amongst people who inject drugs in Greater Brisbane, Queensland: Findings from the Illicit Drug Reporting System.” The release has implications for services health and wellbeing responses for clients who inject drugs and have contact with the criminal justice system.
The bulletin looks at self-reported contact with the criminal justice system among a sample of people who inject drugs in Greater Brisbane, Queensland, and the associations between past-year criminal justice contact, prison history, and self-reported physical and mental health, measures of psychological distress and indicators of socioeconomic disadvantage that are also social determinants of health.
In 2021, 39% of the Greater Brisbane IDRS sample reported that they had been arrested in the previous 12 months, and 54% of the sample reported having ever been in prison. Further findings indicate respondents who had been arrested in the last 12 months had significantly higher psychological distress than those who had not. Those arrested in the previous 12 months also with a prison history were also found to have poorer selected social determinants of health including unemployment and unstable housing, which can also negatively impact physical and mental health outcomes. It is proposed services for people who inject drugs should consider the additional health and wellbeing burdens for people who have had contact with the criminal justice system