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. 

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.

Find out more

Our events

  • Research
    • Research Impact
    • Health
    • Law
    • Psychology

    5th Australasian Youth Justice Conference 2024. Strengthening Connections: The Power of Relationships and Strong Service Partnerships

    In collaboration with the Department of Justice and Community Safety Victoria, the Australasian Youth Justice Administrators (AYJA) will partner with Swinburne University of Technology to deliver the 5th Australasian Youth Justice Conference: Strengthening Connections: The Power of Relationships and Strong Service Partnerships.  This three-day conference seeks to bring together policy contributors, clinicians, legal decision makers, advocates, researchers and those with lived experience to work together and learn from each other through presentations, keynote addresses, Q & A, and panel discussions.

  • Research
    • Research Impact
    • Health
    • Psychology

    Understanding, Assessing, and Treating Adult Firesetting

    This two day workshop will provide attendees with the latest knowledge on deliberate firesetting including common characteristics of and theoretical explanations for adult firesetting, current evidence-based approaches for assessment and treatment of adult deliberate firesetting including psychometric tools that can assist in identification of treatment needs, and current best practice in risk assessment. 

    Wed 31 January to Thu 1 February
    6:30 PM to 9:30 PM
    $500 AUD
  • 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)

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

Contact us