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Professor Donald Weatherburn

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Don Weatherburn is a Professor at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre and was formerly Executive Director of the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research. Prior to that appointment, Professor Weatherburn was foundation Research Director at the Judicial Commission of New South Wales. He graduated from the University of Sydney with first class honours in Psychology and was awarded a Ph.D. by that university in 1979. He has published on a wide range of topics including sentencing, criminal justice administration, crime prevention, drug law enforcement, harm reduction and program evaluation. He has authored or co-authored 229 publications, including four books, over 100 peer reviewed journal articles, nine chapters in books and 121 reports.

University role: 
Professor
Grants: 
  • 2013: $46,000 for a study into the effect of post-release supervision on risk of re-offending. Criminology Research Council. (Chief Investigator)
  • 2011-12: $304,472 for a study into the impact of opioid substitution therapy upon mortality and recidivism among prisoners Australian National Health and Medical Research Council and Criminology Research Council. (Co-Investigator)
  • 2011: $25,000 from the Criminology Research Council for a study into the effect of bond length on recidivism (Chief Investigator)
  • 2011: $86,000 from the National Drug Law Enforcement Research Fund for a study into the effect of drug seizures on street level drug arrests and drug overdoses (Chief Investigator)
  • 2010: $70,596 from the Australian Research Council (linkage grant) into the effects of alcohol and illicit drug prices affect alcohol and illicit drug consumption (Co-Investigator)
  • 2009: $1.7 million from the NHMRC for a joint study into reducing impulsivity in repeat violent offenders using a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (Co-Investigator)
  • 2007: $227,791 from the Australian Research Council (linkage grant) for a joint study with the ANU into the dynamics of Aboriginal interactions with the criminal justice system (Co-Investigator)
  • 2007: $74,800 from the Criminology Research Council for a joint study with the WA Crime Research centre into the diversion of Indigenous young people from the criminal justice system (Chief Investigator)
  • 2005: $210,000 from the Criminology Research Council for a study into the impact of custodial penalties on juvenile recidivism (Chief Investigator)
  • 2004: $279,678 from the National Drug Law Enforcement Research Fund for a study into the cost of police time spent on alcohol-related crime (Chief Investigator)
  • 2004: $89,079 from the Alcohol Education and Rehabilitation Foundation for a study into liquor outlet density and problems of public disorder (Co-Investigator)
  • 2004: $105,421 from the Alcohol Education and Rehabilitation Foundation for a study into the health costs associated with alcohol-related assaults (Co-Investigator)
  • 2004: $89,079 from the Alcohol Education and Rehabilitation Foundation for a study into liquor outlet density and problems of public disorder (Co-Investigator)
  • 2003: $98,000 from the National Drug Law Enforcement Research Fund for a study into the determinants of expenditure, health and criminal involvement of injecting drug users. (Chief Investigator)
  • 1996: $57,000 from the Criminology Research Council for a study into the relationship between child neglect and juvenile delinquency (Chief Investigator)
  • 1992: $40,000 from the NSW Law Foundation for a computer simulation analysis of the NSW Criminal Justice System (Chief Investigator).
Awards: 

Public Service Medal

University of Sydney alumni award for community service

Member, Academy of Social Science of Australia

Research
Research activities: 

Current research interests: Evaluations of the NSW cannabis cautioning scheme and the NSW Magistrates Early Referral into Treatment Program (MERIT).Research into changes in public attitudes toward illicit drug users, effect of COVID on crime, the relationship between gambling expenditure and crime, the effect of the heroin shortage on reoffending and the criminal careers of illicit drug users