Results from the Prisoner Health Survey 2005 describes the health status of sentenced prisoners in New Zealand, using a range of indicators from a national survey of prisoners. The survey was conducted in 2005 using face-to-face interviews with 423 sentenced prisoners from around New Zealand.
The report contains information on the prevalence of chronic disease, the prevalence of risk and protective factors, use of health services, aspects of oral health and the past experience of communicable disease among sentenced prisoners. It also includes a summary of previous New Zealand research on the health of prisoners.
The objectives of the survey were to improve understanding of the extent of the health needs among New Zealand prisoners and inform future prisoner health service planning, policy, processes, and programmes.
Face-to-face interviews were conducted with sentenced prisoners over May to December 2005, using a questionnaire mainly adapted from the 2002/03 New Zealand Health Survey and the 2001 New South Wales Inmate Survey from Australia. There was an overall response rate of 93% and the final sample consisted of 423 prisoners: 317 males and 106 females (199 Māori and 224 non-Māori).
This report describes the health status of sentenced prisoners using a range of indicators from the survey and where possible, presents results by sex, ethnicity (Māori/non-Māori) and age (16–24, 25–45, 46+ years). It also includes a literature review of previous research on the health status of prisoners in New Zealand. All findings are presented as a percentage with 95% confidence intervals. The results have been weighted to be representative of the entire sentenced prison population according to age, sex and ethnicity demographics. Overall results for the total prison population and age-specific results are presented using crude results, while comparisons of results by sex and ethnicity are based on age-standardised results. In addition, where possible a comparison was made between the male prisoner population and general male population using the 2002/03 New Zealand Health Survey.