Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Monash University

Postgraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2014 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered, or view unit timetables.

FacultyFaculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
Organisational UnitVictorian Institute of Forensic Medicine
OfferedSouthbank Second semester 2014 (Off-campus)
Coordinator(s)Professor Michael Levy

Quota applies

This unit is quota restricted. Selection is on a first-in, first enrolled basis. For further information please contact the Postgraduate Course Administrator via email postgrad.courses@vifm.org or phone 03 9684 4115.


The aim of this unit is to present and discuss the current issues arising from the provision of a medical service in a custodial setting. The topics covered provide insights into the health impacts of penal institutions and the powers and responsibilities of custodians; ethical issues; fitness for interview; fitness for detention; deaths in custody; interpersonal violence and the assessment and management of some frequently presenting medical problems (specifically mental illness and addiction).


On completion of this unit the student is expected to:

  1. understand the responsibilities and powers of custodians;
  2. display a knowledge of custodial and penal institutions;
  3. show familiarity with the procedures for investigating complaints by prisoners and the issues surrounding deaths in custody;
  4. comprehend the ethical issues of the doctor/patient relationship in a custodial setting;
  5. conduct an assessment of an individual's fitness to be interviewed or detained in custody;
  6. recognise and manage a range of medical problems presenting in the custodial setting.


Assignments / Essays (30%)
Case Studies (40%)
Presentations (10%)
Casebook Workbook (20%)

Chief examiner(s)

Off-campus attendance requirements

Compulsory 2 day workshop

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study

Additional information on this unit is available from the faculty at: