Date of Award

2012

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Criminal Justice

School

School of Law and Justice

Faculty

Business and Law

First Advisor

Natalie Gately

Second Advisor

Dr. Ann-Claire Larsen

Abstract

The current study utilised data collected from the Australian Institute of Criminology’s project known as Drug Use Monitoring in Australia (DUMA). The DUMA project examined detainees’ social demographics and past and present drug use, at various Australian sites. The current study examined secondary data as a subset of the DUMA data collected from the East Perth lockup in Western Australia. Three sections of the DUMA data were analysed in this study (i) changes in amphetamine use by detainees (ii) demographic profile of detained amphetamine users and (iii) offences for which they have been detained. Analyses included chi-square tests, Kendall’s tau_b, ANOVA, and descriptive statistics, which were used in order to ascertain if a change between the three main sections had occurred overtime (1999-2006). Results showed detainees’ amphetamine use increased during the ‘heroin drought’. The profile demographic of detainee amphetamine users showed some significant changes overtime; a majority were male, aged between 18 to 34 years, and most likely to be unemployed. The study also showed detainee amphetamine users were most likely to commit offences against property, rather than offences against a person. Recommendations include detainees be offered drug counselling where appropriate and have access to resources assisting with gaining long-term employment.

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