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Psychological Resources in Australasian Correctional Departments

NCJ Number
Australian Psychologist Volume: 31 Issue: 1 Dated: (March 1996) Pages: 1-8
P Priest
Date Published
8 pages
The past and present delivery of psychological services to correctional departments in Australia and New Zealand was surveyed through questionnaires.
The questionnaire was designed to obtain information on staff levels and activities during the decade 1980-89, current professional structure and any administrative problems, training opportunities, and self-monitoring systems. Responses were received from six of the eight Australian jurisdictions surveyed and from the one New Zealand department. Considerable variation in size and range of services was evident from the survey responses. Clinical work, particularly treatment, was the central activity in all cases; however, many Australasian correctional psychologists do not have postgraduate clinical qualifications. On beginning work in corrections, they have had to rely on what little introductory clinical psychology they may have received during their undergraduate education. Further training in clinical areas, familiarization with corrections, and the updating of skills have depended upon departments providing appropriate opportunities and resources. Recent developments, such as larger scale treatment programs for special groups (e.g., sex offenders) and contributions to overall correctional management were reported by some respondents. The restructuring of psychology sections in some departments has produced problems in relations between psychologists and their employing departments. Similarities in developments and issues in correctional psychology in the United States, England, and Wales are noted. 3 tables and 40 references