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Research

Research projects

Current research projects

Currently, there are a number of research projects and evaluations being undertaken by or in collaboration with Department of Human Services – Juvenile Justice.

Investigating incarcerated and inpatient adolescents’ beliefs and adherence to psychotropic medication

  • A research project being undertaken by Justice Health.
  • The purpose of the project is to conduct questionnaires and interviews among patients to examine adolescent's beliefs about psychotropic medication and if these are related to adherence to these medication. Recent research on the determinants of medication adherence has focused on patients’ beliefs or perceptions.

Indigenous interactions with the justice system: A focus on re-offending and desistance

  • This project is being conducted by a PhD student with Australian National University, Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research.
  • The purpose of the project is to investigate what the common patterns are among Aboriginal people who have been serial offenders in the justice system and have since stopped offending.
  • The project aims to investigate what has made a difference.

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Case management in NSW Juvenile Justice: Client perspectives.

  • This project is being conducted by a PhD student with Monash University.
  • This research aims to examine and describe clients’ understanding and experiences of case management as it occurs in the NSW Juvenile Justice (JJ) in order to contribute to and improve effective case management theory and practice.
  • Involves in depth, semi-structured interviews with Juvenile Justice clients.
  • In examining the outcomes, account would be taken of the self-reported characteristics of clients and staff (e.g. gender, age, cultural identity).

Cultural collections and Juvenile Justice: Research with Pacific Islander young people

  • This project is a collaborative effort between the CRC researchers at RMIT, the Australian Museum, the NSW Department of Human Services, Juvenile Justice (NSW), and NSW Legal Aid.
  • The Australian Museum has one of the world’s best Pacific collections and has begun to work with young Pacific Islanders in the Juvenile Justice System of New South Wales.
  • Through this project it is hoped that a meaningful connection with their heritage will serve to ground these young people and move them away from crime.

Indigenous persons with mental health disorders and cognitive disabilities (MHDCD) in the criminal justice system (CJS) in NSW.

  • Conducted by University of NSW in conjunction with Juvenile Justice.
  • This project will build on the ARC Linkage project, People with MHDCD in the CJS.
  • Initial analyses indicate that Indigenous persons have the highest rates of complex needs (multiple diagnoses and disability) and that Indigenous women with complex needs have significantly higher convictions and episodes of incarceration than their male and non-Indigenous peers.

Effective methods of challenging pro-criminal attitudes and behaviour of juvenile offenders

  • This project is being conducted by a PhD student with Monash University.
  • This project explores the specific skills workers employ in confronting antisocial attitudes in juvenile offenders in the context of a supervision relationship.
  • This research will further explore which styles of challenging are more effective with different client groups.

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Causes of antisocial behaviour in adolescence

  • A longitudinal study conducted by University of Wollongong.
  • The design of the study is to identify the individual, developmental, and social factors that lead to antisocial behaviour amongst adolescents.
  • Also examining factors that predict the persistence of antisocial behaviour into adulthood.

Working together to reduce youth recidivism: Exploring the potential of a wraparound interagency service model.

  • A collaborative project between Southern Cross University, Centre for Children and Young People and Juvenile Justice.
  • The project aims to develop and trial a “wraparound” services model that utilises improved interagency collaboration.
  • The aim of the service model is to reduce recidivism amongst clients engaged with a Department of Human Services office.

Exploring the Relationships between Cannabis Use & Criminal Offending among Adults and Adolescents

  • This project is being conducted by a PhD student with University of NSW, in conjunction with National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre.
  • The overall aim of the project is to explore the relationship between cannabis use and criminal offending among both adults and adolescents.

Challenges, possibilities and future directions: A national assessment of Australia’s children’s courts – NSW

  • This project is being conducted by University of NSW.
  • The aim of the project is to examine the current challenges faced by Australia's children's courts, possible reforms and their viability from the perspectives of its judicial officers and other key stakeholders.

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An analysis of supervision skills used by juvenile justice workers

  • This project is being conducted by Monash University.
  • The aim of the project is to examine the most effective method of supervising young offenders to reduce the likelihood of re-offending and To provide more information about the way in which juvenile justice workers confront young people in relation to their behaviour, how this relates to client outcomes and whether some styles of confrontation work better with some clients than others.

Annual Patient Snapshot Survey

  • This project is being conducted by Justice Health, in collaboration with Juvenile Justice.
  • The aim of the project is to monitor the satisfaction of Justice Health patients and key socio-demographic and health-related indicators.
  • The project will involve collections of the above factors over a 5 year period.

Major Research projects

Department of Juvenile Justice (2004). 2003 NSW Young People in Custody Health Survey: Key findings report. ISBN: 0 7347 6518 5.

Cain, M. (1996). Recidivism of Juvenile Offenders in New South Wales. NSW Department of Juvenile Justice: Author. ISBN: 0 7310 8887 5.

pdf icon(10.9mb) 2009 Young People in Custody Health Survey (YPICHS) - full report

Due to the size of the 2009 Young People in Custody Health Survey report this document is also provided in sections below to assist with downloading.

Information and evaluation series

Cain, M. (1995). Juveniles in detention: Issues of over-representation. Information and Evaluation Series, No. 4, NSW Department of Juvenile Justice: Author. ISBN: 0 7310 4892 X.

Cain, M. (1994). Special needs groups: Young women, Aboriginal and Indo-Chinese detainees. Information and Evaluation Series, No. 3, NSW Department of Juvenile Justice: Author. ISBN: 0 7310 3641 7.

Cain, M. (1993). Juveniles in detention: A model for diversion. Information and Evaluation Series, No. 2. NSW Department of Juvenile Justice: Author. ISBN: 0 7310 0290 3.

Cain, M. (1993). An evaluation of parole orders and court specified parole supervision. Information and Evaluation Series, No. 1, NSW Department of Juvenile Justice: Author. ISBN: 0 7310 0290 3.

The Juvenile Justice Collaborative Research Unit monograph series

Thompson, A.P. & Pope, Z. (2003). An analysis of psychological forensic reports for juvenile offenders. Monograph Series Collaborative Research Unit, No. 3, NSW Department of Juvenile Justice: Author. ISBN: 0 7347 6500 2.

Kenny, D.T, Seidler, K., Keogh, T. & Blaszczynski, A. (1999). Clinical characteristics of Australian juvenile sex offenders: Implications for treatment. Monograph Series Collaborative Research Unit, No. 2, NSW Department of Juvenile Justice: Author. ISBN: 0 7347 6121 X.

Kenny, D.T, Seidler, K., Blaszczynski, A. & Keogh, T. (1999). Profiling Australian juvenile sex offenders: Offender and offence characteristics. Monograph Series Collaborative Research Unit, No. 1, NSW Department of Juvenile Justice: Author. ISBN: 0 7347 6120 1.

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Publications arising from approved research projects

Publications from the Drug Use Careers of Juvenile Offenders project

  • Prichard, J. & Payne, J. (2005). Key findings from the Drug Use Careers of Juvenile Offenders study. Trends and issues in crime and criminal justice, no. 304. Canberra: Australian Institute of Criminology.

  • Prichard, J. & Payne, J. (2005). Alcohol, drugs and crime: A study of juvenile in detention. Research and Public Policy Series, no.67. Canberra: Australian Institute of Criminology.

Youth Level of Service/Case Management Inventory - Australian Adaptation

  • Thompson, A.P. & Pope, Z. (2005). Assessing Juvenile Offenders: Preliminary data for the Australian Adaptation of the Youth Level of Service/Case Management Inventory. Australian Psychologist, 40(3): 207-214.

  • Thompson, A. P., & Putnins, A. L. (2003). Risk-need assessment inventories for juvenile offenders in Australia. Psychiatry, Psychology and Law, 10(2): 324-333.

Psychological disorders of young women

  • Dixon, A., Howie, P. & Starling, J. (2004). Psychopathology in female offenders. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 45(6): 1150-1158.

  • Dixon, A., Howie, P., & Starling, J. (2005). Trauma Exposure, Posttraumatic Stress and Psychiatric Comorbidity in Female Juvenile Offenders. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 44(8): 798-806.

Research into Youth Justice Conferencing in NSW

  • Bolitho, J. (2005). Restorative Justice in action: The principles and practice of Youth Conferencing in New South Wales. In J. B. L. Chan (Ed.), Reshaping juvenile justice: The NSW Young Offenders Act 1997 (pp. 119-140). Sydney: Institute of Criminology, University of Sydney.

Publications from the 1999 NSW Young Offender Drug Use Survey

  • Copeland, J., Howard, J., Keogh, T., & Seidler, K. (2003). Patterns and correlates of substance use amongst juvenile detainees in New South Wales 1989-1999. Drug and Alcohol Review, 22:15-20.

  • Howard, J., Lennings, C. J., & Copeland, J. (2003). Suicidal behavior in a young offender population. Crisis, 24(3): 98–104

  • Lennings, C.J., Copeland, J. & Howard, J. (2003). Substance use patterns of young offenders and violent crime. Aggressive Behavior, 29: 414–422

  • Copeland, J., Howard, J., Keogh, T. & Seidler, K. (2003). Drugs and Blood-Borne Viruses: Knowledge and Risk-taking Behaviour Among Detained Adolescents in New South Wales. International Journal of Forensic Psychology, 1(1): 85-91.

Adolescent sex offenders

  • Nisbet, I.A., Wilson, P.H. & Smallbone, S.W. (2004). A prospective longitudinal study of sexual recidivism among adolescent sex offenders. Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment, 16 (3): 223-234.

  • Kenny, D.T., Keogh, T. & Seidler, K. (2001). Predictors of recidivism in Australian juvenile sex offenders: Implications for treatment. Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment, 13(2): 131-148.

  • Kenny, D. T., Seidler, K., Keogh, T., & Blaszczynski, A. (2000). Offence and clinical characteristics of Australian juvenile sex offenders. Psychiatry, Psychology and the Law, 7(2): 212–226.

Forensic psychological assessment

  • Lennings, C.J., Stephenson, J., Cotter, M., Johnston, I. & Jenkins, T. (2001). An evaluation of psychological reports in the NSW Department of Juvenile Justice Forensic Program: An analysis of their effectiveness. Youth Studies Australia, 20(2): 35-39.

Aboriginal young people

  • Troth, G. & Grainger, J. (2000). Psychological impact of custody on the Aboriginal adolescent. Psychiatry, Psychology and Law, 7(1): 89-96.

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