Junee Correctional Centre can accommodate 790 male inmates in a medium/minimum security correctional centre located 450km west of Sydney and 40km from Wagga Wagga. A client of HPS Pharmacies since 2005; it was the first privately run correctional centre in New South Wales, and the first in Australia to be designed, constructed and managed by the private sector.

Junee Correctional Centre deserves congratulations for being Highly Commended at the ACHS Quality Improvement Awards in the Healthcare Measurement Category for their Healthy Inside Program.

The program combines lifestyle choices, low-impact exercise, nutrition and education in its holistic model. It aims to improve health by turning around the poor engagement of high-risk and hard-to-reach inmates. They were involved in developing the original, entertaining and educational program, which sees them mentor and encourage each other to sustain improvements.

Junee’s Matthew Canny reported that of the 77% of participants who completed a three month commitment:

  • 68% saw a reduction in their cholesterol;
  • 97% lost an average of 3kg;
  • 25% experienced a decrease in smoking rates;
  • 73% are still involved in regular exercise; and
  • 81% are embarking on a healthy eating regime.

With so many in the wider community choosing to take medication rather than make healthy lifestyle changes, we may learn useful strategies and motivation from the microcosm at Junee Correctional Centre.

References:

  1. Australian Council on Healthcare Standards. QI Awards 2012. Sydney NSW; ACHS 2012.