Synapse is working with Griffith University to review the processes for assessing the disability needs of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander prisoners. The project is funded by the Department of Social Services and has arisen out of recommendations from the Prison to Work Report (COAG, 2016) the project is a national study which aims to:
1. Identify methods, processes and current gaps, to improve the identification and assessment of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander prisoners with disability and/or impairment
2. Investigate and identify services and processes to support the needs of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander prisoners, and ex-prisoners with disability and/or impairment to better enable transition back to their communities and reduce potential barriers to exclusion and marginalisation, including employment.
The project will examine how disability is identified and assessed in adult (over 18 years) Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander prisoners and ex-prisoners who have exited the prison system within the last six months. The focus will be on people who have conditions that often remain unidentified such as hearing loss, cognitive impairments (Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) or acquired brain injury) and related disabilities. It will also examine ways to improve their access to rehabilitation, treatment and employment opportunities.
The findings will be used to:
- Improve identification and assessment of disability and/or impairment for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander prisoners and ex-prisoners though culturally safe and appropriate methods.
- Improve the support and rehabilitation services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners and ex-prisoners.
- Develop options for more effective assessment tool(s) and processes.