Criminal Justice

Optimising health and wellbeing for people involved with or impacted by the justice system and their families

Our justice research contributes to ways of optimising health and wellbeing for people involved with or impacted by the justice system and their families. We focus on issues of disability and inclusion in the justice system and for people who have been through the justice system, as well as the impact individual justice involvement can have on families and a child’s healthy start to life. Research and evaluation within the Justice Research hub takes an intersectional approach, in recognition of the disproportionate impacts of justice and legal system involvement for First Nations peoples and people with disabilities. A key priority is applied research and evaluation to improve the justice system and justice system programs.

Our research and evaluation recognises the importance of social context, social consequences and social justice issues inherent in people’s justice system involvement. We have a particular focus on therapeutic jurisprudence, restorative justice, desistance and other strengths-based approaches.

Another area of application is on the interface of social and health services with the legal system and broader justice system. This includes research on socio-legal collaborations and the potential for further development of socio-legal collaborations as an innovative response in areas such as family violence, homelessness, aged services, disability and mental health.

Key areas of research and evaluation interest include: post prison support and transition; sport and recreation in prison and other justice contexts; youth justice; in-prison supports and services for females who have offended, particularly those who are pregnant, give birth or have small children in their care; the intersection of child protection and criminal justice systems; and family violence including, service responses to women identified as using force while often also being victims themselves.