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Research and Publications

There is a vast range of research regarding criminal justice issues in Australia. A list of key research bodies and some of their work relevant to the No Bars Project is listed below along with links to referenced documents used throughout the No Bars Website.

Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)

The ABS collects a vast range of statistics on the Australian population. This includes a National Prisoner Census which presents information about adult prisoners held in custody in Australian prisons at 30 June each year. For more information on the National Prisoner Census visit the ABS website.

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Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC)

The Australian Institute of Criminology is Australia's national research and knowledge centre on crime and justice. The AIC have a range of publications on Australian criminal justice issues. Briefs are available under the banners of Trends and Issues, Australian Crime: Facts and Figures, Research and Public Policy Series and Monitoring Reports. AIC Publications referenced in No Bars include:

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Australian National Council on Drugs (ANCD)

The ANCD is the principal advisory body to federal government on drug policy and plays a critical role in ensuring the voice of the community is heard in relation to drug related policies and strategies. The ANCD publish a series of research papers relevant to drug and alcohol in NSW. To view all research papers click here. Some papers relevant to criminal justice issues include:

  • Pritchard E, Mugavin, J. & Swan, A., 2007, Compulsory treatment in Australia, ANCD Research Paper 14.
  • Grey, D., et al. 2010, Indigenous-specific alcohol and other drug interventions: continuities, changes and areas of greatest need, ANCD research paper 20.

Please also refer to National Indigenous Drug and Alcohol Committee (NIDAC).

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Australian Prisons Project

The Australian Prisons Project is national research investigating the re-emergence of the prison as the primary criminal justice strategy in Australia since the 1970s. The project draws together senior researchers across the disciplines of law, criminology and social science to explore a number of themes relating to prison including trends in sentencing and bail, the experience of vulnerable populations in the prison system, terrorism, 'risk' paradigms and post-release initiatives.

The APP website hosts a range of relevant research in the area of Australian criminal justice issues by theme and jurisdiction as well as including a comprehensive list of external links.

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Crime and Justice Research Network

The Crime and Justice Research (CJR) Network is a interdisciplinary initiative that aims to bring together academics, researchers and students across all schools, faculties and centres at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) with an interest in crime and justice. The CJR hosts a list of research in criminal justice issues currently underway and newly published.

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Cochrane Library

The Cochrane Library contains high-quality, independent evidence to inform healthcare decision-making. It includes reliable evidence from Cochrane and other systematic reviews, clinical trials and more. Cochrane reviews bring you the combined results of the world's best medical research studies, and are recognised as the gold standard in evidence-based health care.

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Drug and Alcohol Health Services Library

The Drug and Alcohol Health Services Library is a state wide library and information service open to professionals in NSW working with drug and alcohol issues. Library membership is open to professionals in NSW working with drug and alcohol issues. Regular email updates notify members of journal articles of relevance to drug and alcohol issues.

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Indigenous Justice Clearinghouse

The Indigenous Justice Clearinghouse is a national resource on Indigenous justice. The aim of the clearinghouse is to promote discussion and disseminate relevant Indigenous justice information to government policy makers and those working in the Aboriginal justice field. The clearinghouse website hosts a range of useful information and links to external research centers as well as including a resources database.

The database can find information on Indigenous justice research including research projects, datasets, evaluations, published papers and reports, descriptions of relevant programs and links to other websites.

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Justice Health - Centre for Health Research in Criminal Justice (CHRCJ)

The Centre for Health Research in Criminal Justice (CHRCJ) was formed in 2003 and aims to research prisoner health issues and health matters connected with the criminal justice system in general. The CHRCJ is the one of the only research centres in the world specifically devoted to the study of prisoner health issues. Its work is recognised at the national and international level. The CHRCJ collaborates with a number of agencies on research projects including the University of New South Wales, the National Centre for HIV Epidemiology and Clinical Research and the University of Sydney.

Justice Health has conducted Inmate Health Surveys. The 2001 and 2009 reports can be downloaded below.

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National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC)

The National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC) undertakes research and related activities that increase the effectiveness of Australian and International treatment and other intervention responses to alcohol and other drug related harm. NDARC produces a wide range of publications based on the research conducted at the Centre.

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National Drug Research Institute (NDRI)

The National Drug Research Institute conducts and disseminates high quality research that contributes to the primary prevention of harmful drug use and the reduction of drug related harm.

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National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) is Australia's peak body for supporting health and medical research; for developing health advice for the Australian community, health professionals and governments; and for providing advice on ethical behaviour in health care and in the conduct of health and medical research.

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NIDAC - National Indigenous Drug and Alcohol Committee

The National Indigenous Drug and Alcohol Committee is the leading voice in Indigenous alcohol and drug policy. NIDAC provides advice to government, based on its collective expertise and knowledge from those working in the field, health professionals and other relevant experts. NIDAC produce and publish papers related to Indigenous drug and alcohol use including the 2009 Bridges and Barriers Report: Addressing Indeginous Incarceration and Health which can be downloaded below.

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The NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR)

BOCSAR is the official source of NSW crime statistics. BOCSAR conducts research into crime and criminal justice and evaluates initiatives designed to reduce crime and reoffending. A range of research is available via BOCSAR in reports, briefs and bulletins. Some publications that have been referred to in No Bars are noted below but much more is available for download by visiting the BOSCAR website.

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NSW Corrective Services

NSW Corrective Services carry out an annual inmate census and release information providing details on inmate statistics and characteristics. Some examples of these statistics are below:

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Register of Australian Drug and Alcohol Research (RADAR)

RADAR is a project of the Alcohol and other Drugs Council of Australia (ADCA) which aims to promote awareness of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs research in Australia. The register contains up-to-date records of current and recently completed research projects with details of published research. There is also information about researchers, their organisations and research funding bodies.

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Restorative Justice Research Unit

The RJRU aims to undertake peer reviewed research into various aspects of the criminal justice system. This includes imprisonment, the use of restorative processes in workplace disputes and the use of restorative justice to combat bullying in schools. The Unit aims to assist in facilitating a better understanding of the functioning of restorative justice, its purpose and its limitations.

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Sydney Institute of Criminology

The Sydney Institute of Criminology is a research centre based in the Sydney Law School specialising in criminology, criminal justice and criminal law. It is a commercial publishing house producing the international research journal Current Issues in Criminal Justice and the Institute of Criminology book series.

Sydney Institute of Criminology also offer a range of seminars open to the public on various issues. A seminar on People with Complex Needs Who Pass Through Criminal Justice is part of the Beyond Punishment seminar series, sponsored by Corrective Services NSW was presented by Dr Margret Hamilton in May 2009. Audio files from the seminar can be downloaded from the website.

No Bars refers to a range of government and academic research and statistics.To download some of the research papers follow the links below:

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"Seize the moment. This is your teachable moment. It may be the only time this person steps inside a treatment service. No matter what the motivation you have a golden opportunity to positively assist a person."

Astrid Birgden, Director of the Compulsory Drug Treatment Program, Corrective Services NSW