Three-quarters of people in prison have a history of hazardous use of alcohol and other drugs (AoD), yet there is a paucity of research into AoD use and prison-based treatment. This lack of prison-based AoD research exists despite the enormous body of research conducted over many decades into problematic AoD use generally in Australia. The lack of existing knowledge has a disproportionately great impact on Aboriginal people because they are vastly over-represented in Australian prisons. Theoretically, under the principle of equivalence of care, people in prison should receive health care to the same standard as they could access in the community. However, this is may not always be the case.
Michael is a Bardi person from the Kimberley Region of Western Australia. Michael is a Wingara Mura Research Fellow at Sydney University’s Centre of Research Excellence in Indigenous Health and Alcohol. His research focuses on improving alcohol and drug treatment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men involved in the criminal justice system. Michael began his career in health in 1998 as an Aboriginal Health Worker at the Broome Regional Aboriginal Medical Service. He worked predominately in Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services until he moved to research in 2008. He worked as a Research Associate at the Curtin University’s National Drug Research Institute Curtin University and then the Kirby Institute UNSW Sydney. He was awarded his PhD from UNSW Sydney in 2018.