Centre for Forensic Behavioural Science researcher awarded 2022 Chris Abderhalden Award

Senior Lecturer Dr Tessa Maguire was awarded the 2022 Chris Abderhalden Award for Young Researcher in the field of Aggression in Healthcare at the 12th European Congress on Violence in Clinical Psychiatry.

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The Centre for Forensic Behavioural Science provides academic and clinical excellence in forensic mental health research and practice. We bring together academics, clinicians, researchers and students from a variety of disciplines, including psychology, psychiatry, nursing, social work, law, occupational therapy and epidemiology. Our research, consulting services and professional development and training programs have strengthened the field of forensic behavioural science in Australia and overseas.  

A key focus of our work is to transfer academic and clinical excellence into practice in the health, community services and criminal justice sectors. Our aims include:

  • understanding, predicting and reducing offending and violence by people with mental illness or problem behaviours
  • improving the legal system through empirical research and policy analysis
  • creating a vibrant culture of learning and research in the forensic mental health and behavioural science sectors.

We harness additional expertise through our affiliations and collaborations. In particular, we have a strong partnership with the Victorian Institute of Forensic Mental Health (Forensicare), serving as Forensicare’s research and training arm. We also have a long record of collaborating with other general and forensic mental health and correctional services, as well as international experts. 

What is forensic behavioural science?

Forensic behavioural science concerns the study of the relationship between human behaviour and offending, including:

  • understanding how criminal behaviour is produced and what might be done to prevent such behaviour 
  • informing practice in the field of forensic mental health 
  • assisting professionals responsible for the assessment and treatment of the mentally disordered whose behaviour has led, or could lead, to offending 
  • influencing the way that law enforcement, courts and criminal justice systems identify and manage offenders. 

How does our centre operate?

We have a strong partnership with the Victorian Institute of Forensic Mental Health (Forensicare), serving as Forensicare’s research and training arm.

Organisational arrangements for the Centre for Forensic Behavioural Science and Forensicare.

Prato 2023 Conference

Stronger Trajectories, Safer Communities: Improving welfare, mental health and legal responses to crime

Hosted by Swinburne University of Technology and Monash University, this conference will be held in Prato, Italy in September 2023. It seeks to bring together policy contributors, lawyers, clinicians, legal decision makers, advocates, and researchers to work together and learn from each other to explore and describe, from a cross-disciplinary perspective, legal, welfare, clinical and strategic responses to addressing, intervening and preventing criminal behaviour.

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Our products

Forensic Mental Health Professional Development Programs

  • Research
    • Research Impact

    Nobody wants a punch in the throat or a black eye – that shit hurts

    Join Dr Armon Tamatea (Department of Corrections – New Zealand) in exploring the complex dynamics behind the culture and control of violence in New Zealand prisons.

    Thu 20 April
    4:00 PM to 5:00 PM
    Register now (Nobody wants a punch in the throat or a black eye – that shit hurts)
  • Research
    • Research Impact

    The Vanishing Criminal

    Join Professor Don Weatherburn PSM in his research into the why and how behind the unprecedented 20-year drop in crime rates recorded in every Australian state and territory from 2001 to 2021.

    Thu 17 November
    5:00 PM to 6:00 PM
    BA 302, Hawthorn campus
    Register now (The Vanishing Criminal)
  • Research
    • Research Impact

    The Health Effects of Prison

    Join us as Professor Matthew Lindquist (Stockholm University) presents the findings of research examining the health effects of increased imprisonment time and of receiving an ADHD diagnosis in prison.

    Thu 15 September
    4:00 PM to 5:00 PM
    Register now (The Health Effects of Prison)

Centre news

Find more news articles about the Centre for Forensic Behavioural Science. 

How you can reach us


Centre for Forensic Behavioural Science
Level 1, 582 Heidelberg Road
Alphington, 3078

Postal address

Centre for Forensic Behavioural Science
Level 1, 582 Heidelberg Road
Alphington, 3078

Contact the Centre for Forensic Behavioural Science

There are many ways to engage with us. Whether you’re a student, from the media or an organisation interested in our professional development and training programs or consulting services, contact us on +61 3 9214 3887 or via cfbs@swinburne.edu.au

Contact us