Centre for Forensic Behavioural Science

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Safer communities, safer relationships

Generating solutions for reducing persistent violence and other serious offending

An international conference in Prato, Tuscany, on cross-disciplinary approaches.

Date: 4–6 October 2017

Prato, Tuscany, street scenePersistent violence and other serious offending behaviour has a devastating effect on victims, family members, society and the perpetrators themselves. Finding effective solutions to reduce the incidence and severity of offending requires a cross-disciplinary focus. Only with a concerted and ongoing effort can we succeed in reducing the effects of these behaviours in our societies.

Set in the intimate surrounds of a medieval town centre in Prato, Italy, within the 18th century Palazzo Vaj (just 20 minutes from Florence, in Tuscany, Italy) this international conference brings together interdisciplinary practitioners, policy contributors, decision makers, advocates, and researchers to examine various aspects of serious offending and violence. The aim of the conference is to share research, practice and policy developments; to stimulate critical examination of the multifaceted causal issues; and to foster ongoing learning and collaborations.

The conference will give particular attention to the following themes:

  • Understanding violence and other serious offences
  • Effective law and policy developments for managing and reducing offending
  • Intimate partner and family violence
  • Solutions for severe and persistent young offenders
  • ‘Crossover kids’ – from protection to offending
  • Origins of violence and its life course
  • Neurobiology of violence
  • Mental illness, substance misuse, disability and violence
  • Effective interventions with perpetrators
  • Family law
  • Child protection

The conference will offer considerable opportunity for cross-national dialogue.  Keynote speakers, presented papers and roundtable forums will address the conference aims.

Keynote speakers

Judge Tony FitzGerald

Tony Fitzgerald


Tony FitzGerald is a District Court Judge from Auckland New Zealand who works in both the Youth Court and the adult criminal Courts.  

Therapeutic jurisprudence and solution focussed Courts are of particular interest to him. In 2007 he established the Intensive Monitoring Group in the Auckland Youth Court; a solution focussed Court for moderate to high risk young offenders with moderate to severe mental health concerns. More recently he established “crossover lists” in all of the Auckland Youth Courts for those young people in the Youth Court who have care and protection status in the Family Court.  These lists aim to ensure that there is appropriate information sharing between the two Courts to help inform the interventions provided in the Youth Court and to co-ordinate what is happening for the young people in both Courts.  

In the adult jurisdiction Judge FitzGerald presides each month in a court for offenders who are homeless and have impaired decision making capacity on account of any mental health concerns and also sits in the Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment Court based in the Auckland District Court.

Professor Danya Glaser

Danya Glaser is a Visiting Professor at UCL and honorary consultant child and adolescent psychiatrist at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, London.

Professor Glaser has taught, researched and written widely on various aspects of child maltreatment including sexual and emotional abuse, fabricated or induced illness; and the effects of child maltreatment on the developing brain.

Professor Paul Mazerolle

Paul Mazerolle


Paul Mazerolle is Pro Vice Chancellor of Arts, Education and Law and the Director of the Violence Research and Prevention program at Griffith University.   He oversees an academic group that includes over 400 academic staff, 13,000 students, five Academic Schools, the Queensland College of Art and Griffith Film School, the Queensland Conservatorium of Music, and six comprehensive research centres.

Professor Mazerolle is a past editor of the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology and is the founding co-editor (with Tara McGee) of the Journal of Developmental and Life-Course Criminology. 

His research examines processes that shape offending behaviour across the life-course.  His primary focus is in building knowledge in the area of violence to inform theories, advance understanding, and improve policy and practices to reduce or prevent violence, in particular related to youth violence, intimate partner violence and homicide. 

 He has been involved in a series of funded research projects over his career, including several nationally competitively funded research grants, and recently led the Australian Homicide project in collaboration with Li Eriksson, Richard Wortley, and Holly Johnson.   The Australian Homicide Project involved a major data collection effort with over 300 offenders convicted for homicide and residing in correctional environments across Australia. 

Professor James Ogloff AM

James Ogloff


James R. P. Ogloff, AM FAPS is trained as a lawyer and psychologist. He is the Foundation Professor of Forensic Behavioural Science and Director of the Centre for Forensic Behavioural Science at Swinburne University of Technology. He is also Director of Psychological Services at Forensicare. Professor Ogloff was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in 2015 for significant service to education and to the law as a forensic psychologist, as an academic, researcher and practitioner.

Professor Ogloff has specific expertise in forensic psychology, forensic mental health, mental health law, and the assessment and management of offenders. He served as British Columbia’s first Director of Mental Health Services for the Attorney General’s Ministry (Corrections Branch). He is the Past-President of the Australian and New Zealand Association of Psychiatry, Psychology and Law and a former Chair of the College of Forensic Psychologists of the Australian Psychological Society.

He is a Past-President of the Canadian Psychological Association and a Past-President of the American Psychology-Law Society. Professor Ogloff has published 17 books more than 225 scholarly articles and book chapters. He has served as Editor of the International Journal of Forensic Mental Health, as Associate Editor of Law and Human Behavior, and he is an International Editor of Behavioral Sciences and the Law. He has served on 11 other editorial boards. He is the recipient of the 2012 Donald Andrews Career Contributions Award for Criminal Justice Psychology from the Canadian Psychological Association and the 2009 Award for Distinguished Contributions in Forensic Psychology from the Australian Psychological Society.

Professor Lindsay Thomson

Lindsay Thompson


Professor of Forensic Psychiatry, University of Edinburgh.  Medical Director of The State Hospitals Board for Scotland and of the Forensic Mental Health Services Managed Care Network. Director of the School of Forensic Mental Health. Her research interests include outcomes in mentally disordered offenders; risk assessment and management of harm to others; the impact of legislative change; and service design for mentally disordered offenders. 

She has a particular interest in teaching and has established the School of Forensic Mental Health under the auspices of the Forensic Network in collaboration with the Universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow Caledonian, and works extensively with health, social and criminal justice services on educational programmes in forensic mental health. 

She co-authored the first textbook on psychiatry and the Scottish legal system and legislation: Mental Health and Scots Law in Practice 2nd edition.  She chaired the National Prison Health Care Network Mental Health Subgroup which reported in 2014 and published an implementation report in 2016.

Emeritus Professor Mary McMurran

Mary McMurran


Mary McMurran PhD is Emeritus Professor of Personality Disorder Research at the University of Nottingham’s Institute of Mental Health. Her research interests include: the treatment of people with personality disorders; the treatment of alcohol-related aggression and violence; and enhancing engagement in treatment.

She has written over 100 academic articles and book chapters on these topics. She is a Fellow of the British Psychological Society, and recipient of the Division of Forensic Psychology’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005.


The conference will run over three days, with keynote addresses and break-out sessions each day. 

Social program

Welcome reception

Date and time: Wednesday 4 October, 6.30-8.00pm

Venue: Conservatorio San Niccolò, located in the Piazza Cardinale Niccolò.

The fee is included for all delegates. Tickets for guests can be purchased for AU$50 per person.

Conference dinner

Date and time: Thursday 5 October, time TBC

Venue: Villa Medici ‘La Ferdinanda, located in the medieval village of Artimino.

The fee is included for all non-student delegates. Students and guests are welcome to attend. Tickets can be purchased for AU$110 per person.

Ferdinando I De’ Medici took residency of this magnificent villa with his whole court in 1594. Today, the UNESCO world heritage listed villa provides a tranquil setting for special functions. Delegates will be transported from the Monash University Prato Centre directly to the venue via bus.


Registrations are now open. Follow the link below to book now and receive discounted early bird rates.

Venue and travel information


Monash University Prato Centre

Monash University Prato Centre
Palazzo Vaj
Via Pugliesi, 26
59100 Prato
(View Google map)

The Monash University Prato Centre is located on the ground and first floors of the elegant 18th century Palazzo Vaj on Via Pugliesi in the historic centre of Prato.

Prato, in northern Tuscany, is close to several of Europe's most significant cities and institutions, just twenty minutes from Florence and the European University Institute in Fiesole, one hour from Bologna—home to Europe's oldest university—two hours from Rome and three hours from Milan.

Florence airport is a fifteen minute drive from Prato's centre, where short flights can be taken to most major cities in Europe. 

Prato is on the major north-south railway line in Italy which links Rome with Milan, Turin, Munich and beyond.


Travel information

On foot

Palazzo Vai is located in the heart of the medieval centre of Prato, a 15 minute walk from the main train station Prato Centrale and a five minute walk from the secondary station, Prato Porta al Serraglio.

By air

Florence airport (Peretola) is approximately 25 minutes by car or 40 minutes by bus to Prato. Taxis and regular bus services run between Prato and Florence airport. A one-way taxi fare from Florence airport to the Monash Centre can cost 40-50 euro. Alternatively, there is a bus service operated by CAP bus company, which departs every 15 minutes, located just outside the airport area on the main street. Tickets can be purchased either from a newsagent (Tabacchi) or on board the bus. To arrive at the Monash Centre you are advised to get off in Via del Ceppo Vecchio, just before the castle (Castello dell'Imperatore), then continue on foot for a further three minutes. Major airlines operate out of Florence airport including Alitalia, British Airways, Air France, and Lufthansa.

Pisa airport is approximately 1 hour and 50 minutes to Prato by train, or 70 minutes by Terravision bus to Firenze Santa Maria Novella Station, Florence. Note that you need to change train twice when arriving from Pisa airport to Prato. Low cost airlines such as Ryanair and EasyJet operate from Pisa airport.

Bologna airport is a 30 minute bus or taxi ride from Bologna train station.

Rome airport (Leonardo Da Vinci-Fiumicino) is a 45 minute train journey to Rome Termini train station and 3 hours by train to Prato. The route involves three train changes.

By train

Prato is a 25 minute train ride from Florence, approximately 50 minutes from Bologna an an hour and a half from Pisa. There are two train stations operating in Prato: Prato Centrale and Prato Porta al Serraglio. The train station closest to the Monash Prato Centre, Prato Porta al Serraglioand, is less than a five minute walk. View train timetables and purchase tickets online

By bus

The CAP bus company operates the Prato-Florence line and departs from outside the main Florence train station. If arriving at Prato Centrale railway station, you can take the LAM bus 'Direzione Nenni' to Piazza delle Carceri, bus stop 'Carceri 2', located 200 metres from the Monash Centre. View bus timetables (The CAP website is Italian only). 

By car

Take the A11 Firenze-Pisa freeway for approximately 8km (five minutes) and exit at Prato-Est. After the tollgate, keep to the left and head in the direction of Vaiano-Vernio for approximately 3km (four minutes) going through two underpasses. After the second underpass, turn right into Via Carlo Marx and continue straight towards the centre of Prato passing through three sets of traffic lights. Enter the city walls at Via Frascati and continue straight until Piazza dell'Imperatore. You will see a castle. Turn right onto Viale Piave where you will find metered (paid) streeting parking. There are larger parking bays in Piazza Mercatale and in Via Arcivescovo Antonio Martini.


Prato offers a variety of accommodation for different needs and budgets. Delegates are asked to arrange their own accommodation directly and well in advance. Prices are seasonal. Please contact hotels directly or consult their websites.

The Monash University Prato Centre has recommended a range of accommodation options within close proximity to the venue.

Visa and consular information

It is the responsibility of delegates to confirm visa requirements and make suitable arrangements. For further information, consult the Italian Embassy in your home country.

Italian Consulate General, Melbourne
509 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne VIC 3004
Open: 9am–12pm weekdays, closed weekends
Phone: +61 3 9867 5744


Conference registration fees do not include insurance of any kind. We recommended you take out personal travel and medical insurance when you register for the conference and book your travel which includes loss or damage of personal possessions, including loss of hotel payments and registration fees through cancellation.

The conference organisers do not take responsibility for participants failing to arrange their own insurance.


The weather in northern Italy in October is usually a pleasant average of 21°C/70°F. Evenings are usually cooler. As variations in temperature can occur, we recommend you prepare for cooler and warmer weather.

View the local weather forecast and monthly statistics for Prato, Tuscany.

Contact us

Conference enquiries

The Conference Organiser P/L
146 Leicester St, Carlton
Victoria Australia 3053
Website: www.conorg.com.au

General enquiries

Brett McIvor
Research Centre Coordinator
Centre for Forensic Behavioural Science
Faculty of Health, Arts & Design
505 Hoddle St, Clifton Hill
Victoria 3068, Australia
Email: info-cfbs@swin.edu.au

Conference convenors

Professor Rosemary Sheehan AM
Department of Social Work
Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
Monash University, Caulfield
Victoria 3145, Australia
Email: rosemary.sheehan@monash.edu

Professor James Ogloff AM
Centre for Forensic Behavioural Science
Faculty of Health, Arts & Design
505 Hoddle St, Clifton Hill
Victoria 3068, Australia
Email: cfbs-info@swin.edu.au