PATH Cohort Study

PATH Cohort Study: Prisoners and Transitions to Health

The study will identify the trajectories of recently released prisoners with a history of injecting drug use, addressing the dearth of information about this this population in Australia during a highly vulnerable period.

We will follow 500 adult male prisoners for two years after their release from prison, exploring a range of outcomes relating to health, welfare and involvement with the justice system.

We will interview participants up to four times, as well as collect blood samples to test for blood-borne viruses.

We will recruit participants in the weeks before their release from prison and follow them into the community and back into prison, should they be reincarcerated.

Extensive record linkage to health and criminal justice databases out to 10 years following baseline recruitment will contribute to an unprecedented depth and breadth of data on this population.

The long-term aim of this research is to inform health and justice-related policy and practice in Australia, prevent poor health and social outcomes following release from prison, and reduce the individual and community burden associated with drug use and incarceration.


Commencing September 2014, completion date early 2019.


National Health and Medical Research Council, Project Grant, $956,020

Contact Details

For any general enquiries relating to this project, please contact:

Professor Mark A Stoové

Head of Public Health