Assessing the Needs of Indigenous People in Custody: looking beyond law and order

Dr Stephane Shepherd, Fulbright Postdoctoral Scholar in Cultural Competence

Co-presented with the National Centre for Cultural Competence

24 November, 2016

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people comprise 27% of the prison population but represent only 3 % of the Australian population. Justice health professionals often grapple with providing culturally competent care to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in custody. However these clinical challenges cannot be viewed in isolation without interrogating broader organisational, societal and political structures and attitudes.

Efforts to reduce Indigenous prison numbers and provide meaningful correctional health care require a multi-levelled approach across a variety of sectors with an accompanying honest socio-political discourse. This presentation will canvass some of the broader societal influences underpinning Indigenous imprisonment and consider potential medico-legal and community responses to address these issues.

Dr Stephane Sherperd

Dr Stephane Shepherd is a research fellow and lecturer in forensic psychology at the Centre for Forensic Behavioural Science, Swinburne University. He was awarded the Inaugural 2015 Fulbright postdoctoral scholarship in Cultural Competence and is working with the National Centre for Cultural Competence as a part of this scholarship. He recently returned back to Australia after a year-long appointment at both the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and UCLA where he conducted research on cross-cultural violence risk assessment.