Melbourne, June 03 (ANI): Drug and alcohol addiction is common among prisoners in jails, a new study has found.
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report claims prisoners in the country have poorer health than rest of the citizens.
The study found that almost 81 per cent of prisoners smoked and 71 per cent used illicit drugs in the 12 months before they were locked up.
A third of the inmates have hepatitis C while one in five have hepatitis B.
Also, one fourth of prisoners have asthma, arthritis, cardiovascular disease, diabetes or cancer.
Thirty seven per cent of prisoners were reported to suffer from mental illness at some time, while 18 per cent said they were on treatment for a mental health condition.
However, report co-author Ingrid Johnston believes jail time "presents an opportunity for health interventions and treatment".
"An estimated 50,000 prisoners are released from prison each year in Australia," News.com.au quoted Johnston as saying in a statement.
She added: "So the health of prisoners is significant for the health of the wider Australian community."
She said she was "particularly concerned" about more people with mental health issues entering prison. (ANI)