10 - 11 Jun 2021

Correctional Healthcare Conference

QRC: 4103
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Why Attend

Nurses play a crucial role in ensuring that, while in the criminal justice system, people receive health care that is equivalent to what they would receive in the community. Attend this new conference to learn about key issues most relevant to nurses working in correctional, justice, and forensic settings. Topics include:

  • Why people commit crimes
  • Health promotion in the criminal justice system
  • Special populations in the healthcare setting
  • Cases of atypical knock-ups
  • Explore professional boundary, ethical, legal issues, and much, much more…
Don’t miss out on an opportunity to network with your colleagues. Book now!


8:30 Registration for Day One


Welcome and Introduction

Linda Starr

Behind Bars: Nursing People in Prisons

Nurses who work in prisons require highly specialised skills to meet the vast array of professional challenges that exist. This session sets the scene by looking at some of the key professional issues most pertinent to nurses working or considering working in prisons. It includes:

  • What international, national, local and professional standards and principles exist for the provision of healthcare in prisons?
  • What are prisoners’ rights?
  • How does a nurse-led model of care work in prisons?
  • What are the core nursing responsibilities when working in prisons?
  • What are the core attributes needed to be a correctional nurse?
  • Is privatisation of prisons really risky business?
Jacqui Richmond

Hepatitis C: Meeting the Challenge in Corrections

Due to the nature of prisons, it is easy for infectious diseases to spread from one prisoner to another, and, in some cases, to cause an outbreak. This session will discuss infection control in corrections generally and look at a recent report on prisoner health that found that 1 in 5 prisoners treated in NSW and Victoria have hepatitis C. Discuss:

  • What are the updates on the incidence and current guidelines for treatment of hepatitis C in Australian prisons?
  • What is the evidence for prison-based needle and syringe programs and are the alternatives for reducing transmission effective?
  • What health promotion techniques are most conducive to risk reduction?
  • How can we address attitudes and values associated with hepatitis C?
  • Is there a difference between infection control in healthcare settings compared to the correctional setting?
  • Do inmates have a higher chance of contracting infectious diseases than non-prison populations?
  • What safeguards are in place in the event of an outbreak of an infectious disease?
10:45 Morning Tea


Primary Mental Health in Prisons

The potential for people with no pre-existing mental health issues to then experience a change in their mental health may occur upon arrival at a correctional facility. Why is this the case and how can nurses effectively respond to this challenge and improve the mental health outcomes for this vulnerable group of people? This session looks at:

  • Why there such a potential for mental health to become unstable
  • Managing behaviour defined as ‘mad or bad’ - issues for health staff
  • Identifying vulnerable prisoners who are at risk of developing a mental illness
  • Early response strategies to signs of mental distress and illness
  • Managing the mental health caseload in prisons
Louis Roller

Beware: The Dangers of Benzodiazepines

Benzodiazepines are commonly prescribed in Australia, including in prison populations. Alarmingly, they are also the most common drugs associated with multi-drug overdose deaths. Meaning that, while they do not often cause deaths, they commonly contribute. This session includes:

  • How do benzodiazepines act on the brain?
  • What makes them addictive?
  • What is the safest use of benzodiazepines?
  • What are the dangers of mixing benzodiazepines with other CNS depressants, such as alcohol?
  • What is the drug of choice amongst prisoners?
  • Are there any tips for first aid response in a drug overdose in prisons?
1:15 Lunch and Networking


Care of Incarcerated Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders are disproportionately represented in Victorian prison populations. These numbers have gotten higher in recent years, showing that there is a need to change the narrative. The Change the Record campaign aims to close the gap in imprisonment rates by 2040. This session will discuss:

  • What are the key principles of the Change the Record campaign?
  • Why are incarceration rates high for First Nations People?
  • What is intergenerational trauma and how is it related to First Nations' incarceration rates?
  • What are the risks of incarceration for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children?
  • Is there a way that healthcare professionals can help reduce incarceration and reoffending rates of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations?
3:15 Afternoon Tea

Sonia Stocco & Lucinda Young

Seeing Things Differently: Nonviolent Communication in Prison

Prisons are thought of as places where violence is the answer, but there are programs that aim to make this belief a thing of the past. This session will discuss a course based on an approach developed in the US. It includes:

  • What are the concepts involved in nonviolent communication?
  • How can nonviolent communication programs benefit both prisoners and those who have been released from prison?
  • Whose role is it to manage violent behaviour - correctional or healthcare staff?
4:30 Close of Day One of Conference

9:00 Commencement of Day Two


Pregnancy and Parenting in Prison

At any point, it is likely that a small proportion of women may be pregnant while in prison. As well, for some women, they may only learn that they are pregnant upon arrival at a correctional facility. Improving the prenatal care of these women and their babies may considerably improve outcomes during these high-risk pregnancies. As well, the postpartum and parenting support provided to these women is crucial. This unique session discusses the range of considerations from pregnancy to the postpartum and parenting stages. It includes:

  • What predisposes these women to have high-risk pregnancies and how can these complex needs be best managed?
  • Postpartum care - What are the physical and mental health considerations?
  • Mother-infant attachment - is this possible if separation occurs shortly after birth?
  • Contact visits, nurseries and parenting services - what’s possible and what occurs?
  • Risks and rainbows - what are the pitfalls and benefits of having children on site with incarcerated women?
Linda Starr

Blurring Boundaries: The Risks of Over and Under Involvement when Providing Healthcare in Prisons

Developing and maintaining a therapeutic relationship with patients is an important component of healthcare practice and one that is regulated through professional codes of conduct, ethics and professional standards for practice. Any breach of these could lead to an investigation into the health practitioners’ practice. This session will explore the potential harm to patients where professional boundaries are not maintained by exploring:

  • What is meant by professional boundaries
  • Common breaches of boundaries
  • The impact of the media on attitudes, values and beliefs regarding prisoners
  • The risks of under and over-involvement when providing care
  • The regulatory response to health practitioners who breach professional boundaries
10:45 Morning Tea


Care of Transgender Inmates

Transgender persons often suffer from social stigmatisation and discrimination, but this may be amplified in a prison setting. This session will discuss a very specific inmate population. It includes:

  • Are there a lot of transgender inmates in Australian prisons?
  • What are the potential issues in housing transgender inmates in prison?
  • What are the special needs of transgender prisoners?
  • What are the systemic problems relating to transgender inmates?
  • How are the specific health and privacy needs of transgender inmates addressed?
12:00 Lunch and Networking

Linda Starr

Thinking Outside the Bars: Advocating for Imprisoned Patients in End-of-Life Decision-Making

All competent adults have a right to decide in advance what medical treatment they would refuse if they lost the capacity to make decisions in the future. This is also an important human right for those dying in prison. Members of the healthcare team have an important advocacy role in protecting, promoting and defending the social justice and welfare concerns of prisoners who are patients - particularly with end-of-life care. This session looks at issues associated with end-of-life decisions and palliative care options for incarcerated patients, including:

  • What is advocacy
  • Barriers to advocacy in prison settings
  • What constitutes a valid advance care directive
  • Can a prisoner appoint a substitute decision-maker
  • Prisoner, health provider and prisoner family relationships
  • Medical parole
  • Security risks with acute transfers
  • The choice to die behind the wall vs the wish to die beyond it
  • The rights of a prisoner who is dying
Linda Starr

Confidentiality and Privacy: The Rights of Health Professionals and Prisoners

Confidentiality and privacy are fundamental rights of patients and employees in the healthcare system. Providing healthcare to patients in prisons can pose some challenges to this right due to the priority focus on the security of prisoners. Healthcare staff also have a right to privacy. Shared information between correctional staff and healthcare staff may be necessary - but what are the limits: This session will identify:

  • What constitutes ‘a confidence’
  • Limits to confidentiality in prison systems
  • The ‘need to know’ offending and medical histories
  • Protecting personal staff information
  • Maintaining objectivity in high profile media cases
  • Should a report be made to AHPRA when a prisoner is also a registered health professional?
3:00 Afternoon Tea


Leaving Prison and Moving On: Impressions from the Inside

Prison systems used to be akin to revolving doors - released inmates commit crimes and are sent back into the prison system. Current prison systems are now realising the importance of rehabilitation in reducing recidivism rates. This session is about how one prison's youth unit relied on the belief that young offenders can be rehabilitated and will discuss:

  • What is the youth unit model?
  • In what way is the youth unit model different from other prison models?
  • What can healthcare workers do to help reintegrate former prisoners into society when they leave prison?
4:30 Close of Conference and Evaluations


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Louis Roller

Adjunct Associate Professor Louis Roller has been an academic at the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences Monash University for 57 years. He was on the Pharmacy Board of Victoria for 22 years and has significantly contributed to many editions of various pharmaceutical compendia, including the Therapeutic Guidelines, particularly the Antibiotic Guidelines. He is the author of hundreds of scientific and professional articles and has a passion for evidence-based knowledge. He lectures to pharmacists, medical practitioners, nurses, podiatrists,dentists and optometrists on a variety of therapeutic topics, particularly antibiotics, as well as giving many talks to the University of the Third Age on various medication-related issues. As at the end of December, 2020, he had delivered 54 talks to U3A Stonnington and an equivalent number to other U3A groups. With Dr Jenny Gowan, over the last 25 years, he has written articles on disease state management in the Australian Journal of Pharmacy. In 2012, he was made a life member of the Australasian Pharmaceutical Sciences Association and, in 2014, he was awarded the life-long achievement award of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia.

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Linda Starr

Dr Linda Starr has undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications in general, mental health nursing, law, education and a PhD in legal issues in elder abuse. Linda has extensive experience as an RN in metropolitan and rural locations, in general nursing, mental health, forensic health, aged care and management. She has held senior positions in academia, including the dean of the School of Nursing and Midwifery. Linda has publications in health law and forensic health issues. Linda is an associate professor in the College of Nursing and Health Sciences at Flinders University and a consultant educator in health law and ethics for nurses, midwives and carers. She is chair of the SA Board of Nursing and Midwifery, fellow of the College of Nursing Australia, foundation president of the Australian Forensic Nurses Association, member on the School of Health Academic Advisory Board for Open Colleges and the international member on the Editorial Board for the Journal of Forensic Nursing.

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Lucinda Young

Lucinda Young has worked in the community and caring sector since graduating with a Bachelor of Social Work in 1996. Her work has focused on advocating for social and environmental justice working with Community Development principles creating small scale solutions that connect people at the local level. Studying Nonviolent Communication for over 5 years she has become a passionate advocate for this work in all areas of her life. She is passionate about creating a world where everyone's needs matter and aberrant behaviour is viewed with compassion and understanding for the personal and systemic conditions that contributed. Her work in prisons is motivated by the saying of aboriginal activist, artist and academic, Lila Watson who famously said: "If you have come here to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come here because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together."

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To Be Determined

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Jacqui Richmond

Jacqui Richmond has worked in the viral hepatitis sector for the 20 years in nursing, education, social and health services research, and policy development. Jacqui is a registered nurse who completed a PhD in 2006. She currently works at the Burnet Institute as the national workforce development and health service delivery coordinator for the Eliminate Hepatitis C Project. The broad focus of Jacqui’s work is building the capacity of the health workforce to test, treat and manage the healthcare needs of people living with viral hepatitis.

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Sonia Stocco

Sonia Stocco has been an NVC (Nonviolent Communication) practitioner since 2014. Coming to this work through a desire to deal with conflict, she has continued on a journey of deep personal transformation. Her passion for resolving conflict with compassion led her to share this work in prisons. She is motivated by a deep desire to empower people to understand their own humanity and establish a culture of radical empathy and choice, through the teaching of Nonviolent Communication. She has worked as a healthcare practitioner, using her skills as a Craniosacral Therapist and Remedial Massage Therapist for over 25 years. Her deep knowledge of the somatic experience and dedication to many years of meditation practice bring presence and calm to her workshops.

Need for Program

Nurses have a professional duty to ensure the healthcare provided to people in correctional, justice, and forensic settings is equivalent to what they would receive in the community. The opportunity for nurses to improve health outcomes through proactive prevention strategies, assessment, management and education all rely on a sound knowledge of the latest evidence for a range of chronic illnesses. Education that is specifically tailored to nurses who work in this specialised area is crucial if the physical and financial burdens of chronic disease and mental health conditions are to be reduced.

Purpose of Program

The purpose of this conference is to improve the health outcomes of patients in correctional, justice, and forensic settings by enhancing nurses’ knowledge about the latest evidence-based strategies to prevent, assess and manage chronic illnesses.

Your learning outcomes

  • Provide care to patients in correctional, justice and forensic settings that is aligned with current standards of professional practice to reduce the burden of disease
  • Minimise complications and prevent chronic disease progression through improved assessment and management
  • Improve health outcomes by implementing evidence-based practice to manage a range of chronic physical and mental health conditions
  • Enhance professional accountability and maintain the scope of practice by understanding legal and ethical considerations of working with patients in correctional, justice and forensic settings
10 - 11 Jun 2021

Correctional Healthcare Conference

QRC: 4103
Oaks on Market
Melbourne, VIC, 3000
Price: $759.00