Problem Gambling Among Australian Male Prisoners: Lifetime Prevalence, Help-Seeking, and Association With Incarceration and Aboriginality

Ben J. Riley, Amii Larsen, Malcolm Battersby, Peter Harvey

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    5 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Prisoners represent a group containing the highest problem gambling (PG) rate found in any population. PG is of particular concern among Indigenous Australians. Little data exist concerning PG rates among Indigenous Australian prisoners. The present study aimed to address this gap in the literature by examining the lifetime prevalence of PG among male prisoners, whilst identifying prisoners of Aboriginal background. The EIGHT Gambling Screen (Early Intervention Gambling Health Test) was administered to 296 prisoners across three male prisons in South Australia. Previous help-seeking behaviour and forms of gambling were also examined. Sixty percent of prisoners indicated a lifetime prevalence of PG with 18% reporting they were incarcerated due to offending relating to their gambling problem. Indigenous Australian prisoners indicated a significantly higher prevalence of PG (75%) than non-Indigenous prisoners (57%) and reported less than half the rate of help-seeking. Given the high levels of PG and overall low rates of help-seeking among prisoners, prisons may provide an important opportunity to engage this high-risk population with effective treatment programs, in particular culturally appropriate targeted interventions for Australian Indigenous prisoners.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)3447-3459
    Number of pages13
    JournalInternational Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology
    Volume62
    Issue number11
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2018

    Keywords

    • Aboriginal
    • crime
    • gambling
    • Indigenous Australian
    • prisoners
    • problem gambling

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