The Use of Data-Linkage Methods in Criminal Justice Research : A Commentary on Progress, Problems and Future Possibilities

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    Abstract

    Despite technological advances and the growing utilisation •of data-linkage (DL) methods in health and medical research, the method is not widely used in criminal justice research. lIDs is surprising, given that some areas of criminological research (e.g. criminal career and life-course criminology) lend themselves naturally to the adoption of DL methods.While a small but growing number of criminological studies have used such methods in Australia, several factors have combined to impede the 'up-take' of DL methods in criminal justice research. These include legislative issues (restrictive and inconsistent privacy laws), resource limitations within the justice sector to support DL-based research and a less-than-willing attitude amongst government agencies and ethics committees to engage with this type of methodology. Notwithstanding these impediments, the future looks bright for DL-based research in Australia. National initiatives aimed at improvinghealth research infrastructure are likely to provide direct and indirect benefits to DL':based research in the justice sector.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)378-392
    JournalCurrent issues in criminal justice
    Volume20
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2009

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