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Research highlights prison corruption

AAP logoAAP 25/07/2016

Corruption, including drug trafficking and attacks on inmates, is entrenched in prisons across Australia, the US and the UK, research has found.

The findings have prompted calls for action.

A study by a Flinders University academic and a Deakin University criminology lecturer found ample evidence of corruption after examining data from prison systems across the three countries.

Professor Andrew Goldsmith, from Flinders University's Centre for Crime Policy and Research, says the community should be just as concerned about prison corruption as it is about crime rates.

"The scale of criminality and misconduct that can go on in prison has an effect not just on the good order of the prison and the rights of prisoners but on the prospects for successful reintegration of ex-prisoners into society," he said.

"If we are worried about rising crime rates, we need to focus more on the negative effects of sending people to prison."

The report provides a series of suggestions for improving the integrity of the corrections system, including more thorough screening of prison job applicants, better training and monitoring of staff and stronger whistleblower protections.

It also recommends more support for prisoner reform, such as more training and education programs for prisoners and better access to drug and alcohol treatment.

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