Justice Health NSW welcomes the opportunity to work closely with staff and external partners to advance research in prisoner and forensic mental health and drive evidence-informed international best practice healthcare for our patient population.

Justice Health NSW adheres to the Australian code for the responsible conduct of research, 2018, which guides researchers and institutions in the responsible conduct of research. Justice Health NSW is committed to the highest standards of integrity in conducting research. Research must be conducted according to appropriate ethical, legal and professional frameworks, obligations and standards in a research environment underpinned by a culture of integrity.

Justice Health NSW fosters responsible research. It protects the welfare and rights of research participants by ensuring that research projects undergo reviews to establish that they meet the requirements of the National statement on ethical conduct in human research and Ethical conduct in research with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities: Guidelines for researchers and stakeholders, when relevant, along with any legislative requirements.


Consideration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander participants in research

All research involving people in custody or in detention in NSW is considered to significantly involve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. As such, researchers must take into account the principles and practices described in Ethical conduct in research with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities: Guidelines for researchers and stakeholders.

These guidelines:

‘apply to all research with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities. The Guidelines should inform all steps in the research process including conception (the initial idea), design (planning the research), conduct (ways of doing the research), reporting (what happened), and dissemination of findings (circulation to relevant bodies). The Guidelines apply to all researchers, whether they are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people, other Australians or international researchers’ (p. 13).

The Justice Health HREC, in alignment with the policies of the Aboriginal Health & Medical Research Council of NSW, requires ongoing oversight by an Aboriginal Advisory Group, which can be involved in the conception, design, conduct, reporting and dissemination of findings.

Researchers will also need approval, obtained separately to this process, from the NSW Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Committee.

Finally, researchers should read and comply with Communicating positively: A guide to appropriate Aboriginal terminology, which is a policy of NSW Health. 


Justice Health NSW support for research

The following groups work in close collaboration to progress research priorities.

Research Advisory Committee

A subcommittee of Justice Health NSW Board responsible for leading the Network’s strategic research agenda.

Research Strategy and Operations Committee

Operationalises and supports integration of Justice Health NSW's Research Strategy across the organisation.

Research Unit

  • Undertakes research that is aligned to Justice Health NSW’s strategic priorities to inform service delivery and planning
  • Conducts research in collaboration with internal stakeholders and external agencies in accordance with standard ethics and governance approval processes
  • Provides consultation to staff undertaking research
  • Disseminates research
  • Supports the transition of research findings into policy and practice.

Research Leads

  • Justice Health NSW’s Chair of Forensic Mental Health (a joint position with the University of NSW), leads a program of epidemiological and clinical research focused on forensic mental health.
  • Justice Health NSW’s Research Lead, Custodial Health, provides expertise and academic leadership to identify and support the integration of research priorities and activities across the Network.

Our staff

Research is conducted by Justice Health NSW staff in a wide variety of settings and employing a range of methodological approaches including health prevalence surveys, follow up of cohorts, evaluation of interventions and service models, and trials of novel interventions.


If you would like to discuss research at and with Justice Health NSW, please contact the Research Governance & Ethics Officer on +612 9700 3443 or at JHFMHN-Ethics@health.nsw.gov.au, or to:

Research Governance & Ethics Officer
Clinical and Corporate Governance
Justice Health and Forensic Mental Health Network
PO Box 150
Matraville NSW 2036