Prof Stuart Kinner receives widespread media coverage across Australia on recent research paper

Prof Stuart Kinner, Head, Justice Health Unit (JHU), has recently received widespread media coverage across Australia about the paper he co-authored, published in PLOS ONE on 7 September 2022, available here. The paper, for which then JHU team member Emma Thomas is first author, was funded by a grant from the Australian Research Council.

One example of the media coverage is the interview given by Prof Kinner to Cosmos, available here. He describes how the paper examined the association between contact with mental health and substance use treatment services, and reincarceration, among adults released from prison.

The research team looked at more than 1,000 people released from Queensland prisons between 2008 and 2010 in what Prof Kinner described as ‘probably the most rigorous [study] to date’.

The team found that those who sought help for their mental health or substance use problems were more likely to end up back in prison than those that didn’t.

The findings also provide strong evidence that infrequent or unsustained contact with community mental health and substance use treatment services after release from prison is insufficient to prevent reincarceration. There remains a pressing need for greater investment in the quality and timeliness of these services, and in systems for ensuring a smooth transition from prison-based to community care.

Congratulations Stuart and team on this high quality and well-recognised research!