Juvenile Justice considers the following as priority areas for establishing a research base for evidence-based decision-making.
The agenda will be reviewed on an annual basis and updated following endorsement by the Juvenile Justice Executive Committee.
In March 2011, Juvenile Justice revised its procedures for applying to conduct research. All research applications are now processed through Juvenile Justice's Research and Information Unit.
All researchers are strongly advised to read this document, in conjunction with the
Juvenile Justice Research Agenda, the
Juvenile Justice Research Policy (PDF 285kb) and
Juvenile Justice Conditions of approval documents prior to applying to conduct research in Juvenile Justice.
After reading all Agency information on research, contact the Research and Information Unit (RIU) Manager on (02) 9219 9515 or Research Psychologist on (02) 9219 9458. You will need to provide an outline of the proposed area for investigation. You are advised to have formulated your specific research questions prior to contacting the Agency.
The Agency will then assess whether your area of interest meets its priorities for research. If the research area is assessed as not being within the Agency's priorities, then the application will not proceed past this point.
If the area is within the Agency's priorities and is seen as potentially offering some benefit, then you will be required to answer a short checklist so that Juvenile Justice can assess costs and benefits to the Agency, and the impact on the young people under the Agency's supervision.
The Agency will then assess the benefits of the research, and the viability of conducting the research i.e. can the Agency support it and what is the potential impact on resources and provision of service? If the research is not deemed viable, or the benefits are not realisable/attainable, then the application will not progress further.
If the research is seen as viable and beneficial, then the Agency will invite the submission of a full research application. The application forms to conduct research in the Agency will then be provided.
The researcher will need to submit the research application for review by the Agency's Research Steering Committee, ensuring the following areas are addressed:
A copy of ethics approval from a recognised Ethics Committee will need to be provided with your application. You may also need to seek ethics approval from the Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council (AHMRC) if the research is concentrating on Aboriginal young people. Applications without evidence of ethics approval will not be processed.
Further information regarding ethics approvals for human research can be accessed through the following sites:
The Juvenile Justice RSC will consider the research application and if it believes the research is of significant benefit to the Agency, then the application will be sent to the Juvenile Justice Chief Executive with a recommendation for approval. The Chief Executive makes the final decision on the research- without this approval in writing the project cannot proceed.
If the Juvenile Justice RSC does not recommend approval, then the researcher will be notified of this decision.
The Research and Information Unit (RIU) will coordinate the administration for research projects within the Agency. The researcher will be required to sign an agreement accepting the conditions for conducting research in the Agency. These conditions are provided in the document
Conditions of approval for conducting research, which is available on this site.
The researcher undertakes and completes the research project, abiding by the conditions set out in the research agreement. At the completion of the project, the researcher must provide information back to Juvenile Justice regarding their findings, as specified in the research agreement.
No data can be released or presented publicly without the prior approval of of Juvenile Justice. This condition applies to all releases, including those being considered after the main study has been concluded.
The Research and Information Unit is available to answer questions regarding all aspects of the application process. Please contact the Research and Information Unit Manager on (02) 9219 9515 or Research Psychologist on (02) 9219 9458.
The conditions of receiving approval to conduct research in Juvenile Justice are detailed below. Researchers will be required to sign a written contract agreeing to abide by the conditions.
The agency reserves the right to terminate research at any time, especially if the researcher acts unethically or compromises the security of the agency/confidentiality of the participants.
Please carefully consider the following conditions in your project design if you are invited to submit a research application.
Currently, there are a number of research projects and evaluations being undertaken by or in collaboration with Department of Justice, Juvenile Justice.
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
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.
2009 YPICHS - opening
2009 YPICHS - section 1 - Social Determinants
2009 YPICHS - section 2 - Offending Behaviour
2009 YPICHS - section 3 - Health status
2009 YPICHS - section 4 - Physical Health Tests
2009 YPICHS - section 5 - Health Behaviours
2009 YPICHS - section 6 - Mental Health
2009 YPICHS - closing
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Juvenile Justice Annual Reports
The NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) The NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research publish the NSW Criminal Court Statistics Report, which has a specific section for Children's Court outcomes. This report contains information provided by Juvenile Justice. NSW Recorded Crime Statistics reports are published annually by the Bureau and these reports are available on their website from 1997. The Bureau has published a report entitled
The transition from juvenile to adult criminal careers, which includes an investigation of the rate of reconviction among juveniles who appear in the Children's Court.
Read The transition from juvenile to adult criminal careers report here.
The Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) The Australian Institute of Criminology publishes a range of research papers detailing crime figures and trends, along with technical and background reports on specific areas, such as juvenile detention. Specific information regarding juvenile crime rates is contained in the Technical and background paper series No. 18:
Statistics on juvenile detention in Australia: 1981-2004, which is located
here.The AIC have released a national report on the Drug use careers of juvenile offenders, which examines the intersection of drug use patterns and criminal careers in detained juvenile offenders. The full national report is available as a part of the
Research and Public Policy Series, (no. 67), and a key findings report is available as part of the
Trends and issues in crime and criminal justice series (no 304). Both reports are available
The Australian Bureau of Statistics- National Centre for Crime and Justice Statistics The National Centre for Crime and Justice Statistics of the Australian Bureau of Statistics provide a number of annual Crime and Justice publications that include information about Juvenile crime rates. The ABS also provides population information through the Census, which can be accessed
The Commission for Children and Young People - Count me in! The Commission for Children and Young People have published a practical resource
Count me in!, which was developed in conjunction with the Social Justice and Change Research Centre, University of Western Sydney. This resource contains information for those conducting social research with children and young people.