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Views on Alternatives to Imprisonment: A Citizens Jury Approach
Prisoner populations endure some of the worst health outcomes in the community in terms of mental illness, chronic disease, excess mortality and exposure to communicable diseases, with engagement in injecting drug use and tobacco smoking also very common. Mental illness and alcohol misuse, in particular, have been shown to relate to imprisonment rates. Alarming Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander over-representation in Australian prisons, combined with high recidivism rates and annual government prison expenditure reaching more than $3 billion, has led many to claim that incarceration is a social policy failure that needs to be redressed.