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Indigenous Smoking

This project will identify effective ways of supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men who have been imprisoned to remain smoke-free as they transition back into the community. Aboriginal Prisoners have been identified as a high-risk group for smoking dependence, with approximately 92% estimated to be current smokers. Since 2015, NSW prisons have been smoke-free, however support to remain smoke-free upon release from prison is lacking. The overall aim of this work is to develop and pilot a new program, with information from the pilot study used to refine the program before submitting to NHMRC for funding to implement and evaluate more widely. In this way we will be able to develop best practice guidelines, with a view to informing and improving support for newly released prisoners.

Researchers from the University of Canberra Health Research Institute (UC_HRI) have partnered with Grand Pacific Health’s (GPH) Tackling Indigenous Smoking (TIS) team in order to develop, implement and evaluate the Inmates Pre-release Program (IPP), which will be designed to support Indigenous Australian inmates to remain smoke-free as they transition back into society.  The Program will equip participants with skills and knowledge to improve their chances of remaining smoke-free outside of prison. The program will target Indigenous Australian men incarcerated in the Goulburn and Cooma prisons, due for imminent [less than 4 weeks of] release.

GPH delivers a range of primary health care services across southern NSW, including Aboriginal health, mental health and chronic disease management and care. GPH has strong relationships with Aboriginal identified services, community members and a range of other health and social care services. The GPH TIS team works collaboratively within these networks to deliver effective, community-informed programs to ensure a tailored approach to meet local needs. GPH has been successfully delivering TIS activities in the Southern NSW region for over four years. They are therefore well placed to develop and implement this program. In order to ensure successful delivery of the IPP, the GPH TIS Team has partnered with Goulburn and Cooma prisons, while maintaining a strong partnership with the Aboriginal Quitline to whom inmates will be referred for ongoing support as they transition back into society. Additional links will be made with other relevant local groups that are able to support participants to continue their quitting journey once released back into the community.

The Program will consist of two components:

  1. A group-based session
  2. Brief interventions with individual inmates.

Permission has been granted to deliver the program at both Goulburn and Cooma prisons.