The Justice Health Research Program works on a range of projects involving adult and juvenile prisoners, community-based offenders. These groups endure some of the worst health outcomes in society and this has implications for the health of the wider community.
Our work involves surveillance of blood-borne viruses and sexually transmissible infections. We conduct the triennial National Prison Entrants' Blood-borne Virus and Risk Behaviour Survey as well as other population-based surveys of offenders’ sexual health, mental health issues, and substance use.
We conduct research on the development of interventions and examine the health backgrounds of prisoners. Current studies are examining the relationship between psychosis and offending behaviour. We have an in intervention treating impulsive-violent offenders with a pharmacotherapy, and an intervention for women who perpetrate violence.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations are significantly over represented in the criminal justice system and form an important part of our work. A previous NHMRC capacity building grant in the Indigenous offender health area helped to develop a cohort of researchers for the justice health field. We coordinate the NHMRC-funded Australian Centre of Research Excellence in Offender Health which supports studies on mental health and infectious diseases in a range of offender populations.