Australian Institute of Criminology

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The health of young people in custody in NSW

Australian Institute of Criminology, Mark Allerton
02 March 2005 -

Mark Allerton
Director, Psychological and Specialist Services, Department of Juvenile Justice, New South Wales


In 2003 the NSW Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ), in partnership with Justice Health and the University of Sydney, conducted the Young people in custody health survey. The study comprehensively investigated physical and mental health needs of 242 young people (223 males and 19 females) in NSW DJJ custody. It consolidated and extended much of the Australian and international research in this area, with a review of health and social history, physical health, cognitive and academic functioning, mental health, and health-related risk behaviours.

Mark Allerton has worked for the last four years as Director, Psychological and Specialist Services for the NSW DJJ. He has also had extensive experience as a clinical psychologist and manager in community health with NSW Health, and in children's care and protection and disability services with the NSW Department of Community Services. He is a chief investigator in the recent DJJ Young people in custody health survey, and a co-investigator in the Young people on community orders health survey.

His other interests are the use of evidence-based psychological interventions to address mental health and criminogenic needs of young offenders, child and adolescent development, psychological assessment and interventions, clinical supervision, child and adolescent suicide management, clinical aspects of residential treatment for NSW adolescents, child development and attachment theory.