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Type: Journal article
Title: More important than guns or grog: The role of television for the health and wellbeing of Australian Aboriginal prisoners
Author: Grant, E.
Jewkes, Y.
Citation: Current Issues in Criminal Justice, 2013; 25(2):667-683
Publisher: Sydney Institute of Criminology, University of Sydney
Issue Date: 2013
ISSN: 1034-5329
Organisation: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education: Wilto Yerlo
Statement of
Elizabeth Grant and Yvonne Jewkes
Abstract: This article examines the provision of television in the South Australian prison system and its importance to the identity, health, wellbeing and ontological security of Aboriginal prisoners. Existing research has explored the use of broadcast and print media by prisoners in the United Kingdom, United States and Europe and has established that television has an impact on incarcerated audiences far beyond its role as an ‘electronic babysitter’ or a means of filling time. It is also recognised that television plays a significant role in the lives of Aboriginal people (Michaels 1986). However, little is known about television in relation to incarcerated Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. This article draws on data concerning in-cell television (‘TV’) among Aboriginal men in prison,1 which found that, when asked to identify the most important factors in the prison environment, 87 per cent of participants identified access to in-cell television as the single most important factor contributing to their congruency with prison accommodation. The article further indicates that access to in-cell television has the potential to reduce incidents of suicide and self-harm and should be adopted as a ‘best-practice’ principle for Aboriginal prisoners in Australian correctional environments.
Rights: © Sydney Institute of Criminology
RMID: 0030000236
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Appears in Collections:Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education: Wilto Yerlo publications

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