Justice-involved populations are at increased risk of compromised social and cultural determinants of health, resulting in them having reduced control over their health and wellbeing. Our Banksia Hill Detention Centre study investigated the prevalence of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) and neurodevelopmental difficulties among sentenced youth in Western Australia. Using comprehensive, multidisciplinary clinical assessments, we identified that 89% of young people had a neurodevelopmental impairment in the severe range, and 36% had FASD. Through investigation of workforce capabilities and training needs, we identified multiple system failures in supporting young people’s health and wellbeing.
Since completion of our study there have been ongoing calls for action across youth justice systems nationally, with changes to practice, policy and legislation needed across multiple sectors. All too often, translation of research is limited and the gap between research and policy and practice remains wide. Approaches that consider research translation at multiple levels are needed to move beyond simply documenting vulnerabilities of justice-involved populations, to undertaking coordinated actions that enable health and wellbeing, nurture desistance and ultimately sustain health and community safety. This presentation will provide an overview of our study and its translation, in the hope of assisting other justice health researchers and practitioners to consider how they can plan for impact in their own work.
Dr Hayley Passmore is a child health researcher based at the Telethon Kids Institute in Boorloo (Perth). Hayley has qualifications in child health, criminology and psychology, and over 11 years working in adult corrections and youth justice facilities. In 2019, she completed her PhD focusing on the workforce development component of the internationally recognised Banksia Hill Detention Centre study; the first Australian study to explore the prevalence of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) among justice-involved young people. Hayley is the project lead and developer of Reframe Training; an evidence-based program educating frontline staff on the management and support of young people with neurodisability. Hayley has received international recognition for her research and its impact, including receiving a 2020 Churchill Fellowship, being named a 2021 AMP Foundation Tomorrow Maker and a 2022 WA Finalist for Young Australian of the Year.