Occupation-focussed practice in justice health and forensic mental health: Using a practice-based enquiry approach

Danielle Perkes, Gail Whiteford, Glen Charlesworth, Gemma Weekes, Katherine Jones, Sophia Brindle, Linda Hoare, Emma Todd, Mililani Ray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Providing occupational therapy services in secure settings can be challenging due to a number of factorsincluding, but not restricted to, the limitations of the physical environment. Maintaining an occupationfocus in such environments can also be difficult, especially if there are competing institutionalphilosophies. In this article, we describe a project undertaken by a group of occupational therapists inNSW, Australia which focuses on centralising occupation in the programmes they provide in a number ofunits within state funded Justice and Forensic Mental Health Services. The project utilises a practicebased enquiry approach through which the practitioners engage in a reflective analysis of their everydaypractices and the artefacts produced in practice. Collectively, the group of practitioners together with anacademic have formed a community of practice scholars who both critique and support each other’senquiry processes and actions aimed at transforming practice. Whilst the project is only in its early stagesat the time of writing, it is hoped that the findings will inform other occupational therapists hoping to‘reclaim occupation’ in their practice setting.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-107
Number of pages7
JournalWorld Federation of Occupational Therapists Bulletin
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 03 Nov 2015

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