Mental Health and Detention: an Unhappy Co-occurrence
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In Alice Springs, Australia, the Supreme Court of the Northern Territory looms over the town—with good reason. The incarceration rate of Indigenous Australians in the Northern Territory is 2800 per 100 000, 14 times that of the non-Indigenous population (198 per 100 000). 1 84% of the prison population in the Northern Territory is Indigenous, despite Indigenous people comprising only 30% of the general population. It is possible to see this as a pure and simple case of discrimination and social disadvantage coming together, to the detriment of Australian Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders. However, the situation is neither pure nor simple, as made clear by an examination of mental illness: a study in Queensland showed that, among Indigenous prisoners, 73% of males and 86% of females have a diagnosed mental illness.
CitationMarmot, M. (2020) Mental health and detention: an unhappy co-occurrence, The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health, Volume 4, Issue 2, 2020, Pages 98-99, DOI: 10.1016/S2352-4642(19)30428-6
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