Emeritus Professor Eileen Baldry

My Expertise

Prison policy / prisoners; women in prison; criminal justice; homelessness of ex-prisoners, critical criminology and disability; equity and social justice


Fields of Research (FoR)

Criminology, Social Work, Social Policy, Correctional Theory, Offender Treatment and Rehabilitation, Postcolonial Studies

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Eileen Baldry AO FASSA FRSN (BA, DipEd, MWP, PhD) is an Emeritus Professor of Criminology at UNSW where she has been an academic since 1993. She has taught social policy, social development and criminology over the past two decades. Eileen held  senior positions in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, serving as Associate Dean Education (ADE) (2007 to mid-2010), Deputy Dean (mid-2010 to mid-2015), Interim Dean (2015-2017) and was the...view more

Eileen Baldry AO FASSA FRSN (BA, DipEd, MWP, PhD) is an Emeritus Professor of Criminology at UNSW where she has been an academic since 1993. She has taught social policy, social development and criminology over the past two decades. Eileen held  senior positions in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, serving as Associate Dean Education (ADE) (2007 to mid-2010), Deputy Dean (mid-2010 to mid-2015), Interim Dean (2015-2017) and was the inaugural UNSW Deputy Vice Chancellor Equity Diversity and Inclusion (2017-2022) and the first women to hold a DVC position at UNSW.

In 2016 Eileen was named as one of the inaugural PLuS Alliance Fellows in Social Justice. She has been President of the Community Restorative Centre, Deputy Chair NSW Disability Council,  is Chair NSW Ageing & Disability Commission Advisory Board and Deputy Chair of the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC).

Eileen’s research and publications focus on social justice matters and include mental health and cognitive disability in the criminal justice system; education, training and employment for prisoners and ex-prisoners; homelessness and transition from prison; Indigenous social work; community development and social housing; and disability services. She has been and is a Chief investigator on numerous Australian Research Council (ARC), NH&MRC, Housing and Criminology grants over the past 25 years. In 2009, the Law and Justice Foundation of NSW recognised Eileen's “indefatigable” support for justice-related causes by awarding her its highest honour: the Justice Medal. She was made an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in 2021.   

Research Areas

Criminal justice, prisons, critical theory, social justice, Indigenous, social policy, complex support needs.

Current Research Projects

  1. CI on ARC LP210100090 ‘Missing Girls: From childhood to runaways to criminalised women’  Dr Phillipa Evans ; Prof Eileen Baldry ; Prof Rosemary Sheehan ; Dr BJ Newton ; Dr Maree Higgins ; Prof Christopher Trotter ; Dr Catherine Flynn ; Dr Robert Urquhart. 2022-25
  2. CI on NHMRC Ideas Grant APP2003862 ‘Food and Water for Life: co-creation and evaluation of sustainable innovations to strengthen food and water security’ CIA Prof Jacqui Webster; CIB Prof Leslie, CIC Corby, CID Shanthosh, CIE Prof Baldry, CIF Dr McCausland, CIG Bennet Brook, CIH Coombes. 2021-2025 $1,169,419.00
  4. CI on NHMRC APP1154002 “Bangamalhana: A collaborative throughcare program for young Aboriginal women transitioning from prison to community”. CIA E. Sullivan (2018-2023)
  6. CI on NHMRC APP1124368 Identifying factors that improve the health of prisoners who inject drugs CIA Professor Carla Treloar, Associate Professor Mark Stoove, Professor Paul Dietze, Professor Eileen Baldry, Doctor Peter Higgs (2017-2019)

Completed projects

DP170100893 “Addressing the Australian Penal Crisis: Rethinking Community Sanctions” CIA Julie Stubbs, Cis Chris Cunneen, David Brown and Melanie Schwartz (2017-2019)

Conflict, ‘Violence and Environmental Change: Investigating resource governance and legitimacy in transitional societies’ CIA Ojha,H Shrestha K, Baldry E. funded by Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences / Swedish Research Council Project Research Grant Shared Grant.

‘Exploring Disaster Justice in Practice: how we can make disaster preparedness and recovery more just and gender transformative’ CIA Shretha, K, Ojha, H, Zwi, A & Baldry E. funded by Care NepalUnfitness to Plead and Indefinite Detention of Persons with Cognitive Impairments: Addressing the Legal Barriers and Creating Appropriate Alternative Supports in the Community with Lead CI Bernadette McSherry and Anna Arstein-Kerslake Melbourne Uni, National Disability Research Fund, $480,000 2015-2017

AHURI grant ‘Inquiry into enhancing the coordination of housing supports for individuals leaving institutional settings. Exiting prison with complex needs: the role of housing assistance’ 2018-2020

CIB on ARC DP190101944 ‘Housing Sex Offenders’ CIA Hal Pawson (2019-2020) $266K

ARC Linkage LP140100329: A Future Beyond the Wall: Improving Post-release Employment Outcomes for People Leaving Prison 
CIs Baldry, Dowse, Bright, Cale, (UNSW), Graffam, Day, MacGillivray (Deakin) POs DCS NSW, DCS ACT, ACEA, WISE, Breakout, ACSO.

ARC Linkage LP140100429 Positive life pathways for vulnerable adolescents: The role of a life management program approach
CIs Nathan, Ferry, Hayen. Baldry, Rawstone, PO Noffs Foundation.

This project is led by Dr Sally Nathan and examines the outcomes for young people undertaking a life managament program to overcome drug use and involvement in the criminal justice system

Evaluation of program for Young People Transitioning from Out of Home Care

This evaluation is led by AHURI and is assessing the processes and outcomes of a program for young people involved in transition from OOHC aimed at connecting them with further education and employment. 

Indigenous Australians with mental health disorders and cognitive disability in the criminal justice system
Eileen Baldry, Patrick Lionel Dodson, Leanne Margaret Dowse, Devon Tilford Indig, Julian Norman Trollor. ARC Linkage Projects, LP100200096 (2010-2013).

High rates of Indigenous Australians with mental health disorders and cognitive disabilities in the criminal justice system are evidenced in a current ARC Linkage project. This project moves into new territory by extending Indigenous specific data and gathering qualitative information to develop a comprehensive picture of the coalescence of multiple diagnoses, heightened vulnerabilities, complex support needs and simultaneous interventions for Indigenous persons. Comparative analysis with Indigenous and non-Indigenous peers will identify points of difference. Experiences and opinions of this group and specialist support and community leaders will be gathered to identify appropriate conceptualisations and interventions.

Comparative Youth Penality Project
CIs Chris Cunneen, Eileen Baldry, David Brown, Melanie Schwartz; PI Barry Goldson (Liverpool Uni UK) ARC Discovery DP130100184.

This project is a comparative Australian and United Kingdom investigation of penal policy and the punishment of juvenile offenders. The research analyses the changing approaches to juvenile incarceration, particularly in the context of perceived effects on crime and the substantial public and social costs of incarceration.

Working from the ground up: A participatory approach to community regeneration in public housing neighbourhoods
Judith Leslie Irwin, Eileen Baldry, Tony Vinson, Susan Goodwin.

This ARC Linkage project LP0882776 (2008-2012) brings together The University of Sydney, The University of New South Wales, TAFE, NSW Health and Housing NSW as partners. It is identifying and trialing ways of working with communities that can bring about sustainable changes in social housing estates. Using an action research approach, the project is generating new knowledge about and models of community regeneration.

Social and cultural resilience and emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal mothers (SCREAM) in prison
Professor Elizabeth Sullivan, Dr Juanita Sherwood, Professor Eileen Baldry, Professor Tony Butler, Dr Michael Levy, Dr Devon Indig. NHMRC Project 630653 (2010 –2013).

The SCREAM project will look at Indigenous women incarcerated in New South Wales (NSW) and Western Australia (WA). Specifically SCREAM will look at ways to address health inequalities between Indigenous and non-Indigenous incarcerated mothers, female carers and mothers in the community. SCREAM aims to involve Aboriginal women and a broad range of other stakeholders in identifying practical steps to reduce these inequalities. The SCREAM project team is based at the Perinatal and Reproductive Epidemiology Research Unit (PRERU) at the University of New South Wales in collaboration with Curtin University, Western Australia.


The Prison Project: Penal culture and the re-invention of the prison in Australia
Christopher Cunneen, Eileen Baldry, David Brown, Mark Brown, Alexander Steel, ARC Discovery Project DP0877 331 (2008-2011).

Imprisonment rates have grown dramatically across all Australian jurisdictions over the last 20 years, although the growth has been somewhat uneven between States and Territories. ‘Penal culture' refers to the law, policy and practice which frames the use of imprisonment throughout the states and territories of Australia, and to the broad system of meanings, beliefs, ideas and symbols through which people understand and make sense of the prison. The purpose of the Prison Project is to examine developments that have led to a re-emergence of imprisonment as a frontline criminal justice strategy.

Mental health frequent presenters project
Eileen Baldry and Leanne Dowse, NSW Department of Health Research Grant (2010/2011).

This project is delivering a set of linked data and analyses which identify the number and characteristics of persons who are frequent presenters to mental health, police and ambulance services, in order to allow the development of appropriate service models for this group.

Lifecourse institutional costs of homelessness for vulnerable groups
Eileen Baldry and Leanne Dowse. Funded by the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA)/National Homelessness Research Grant (2010/11).

This project uses existing merged data on a cohort of individuals with mental health, cognitive disability and complex needs including homelessness who have been in prison in NSW. It aims to determine the lifelong costs to the person, government and community of addressing (or not) the needs of these most vulnerable homeless persons.

Postgraduate Research Supervision

Areas of Supervision

Prison and criminal justice systems, children in the criminal justice system, community development in public housing neighbourhoods, homelessness, Indigenous welfare, Indigenous women post-release

Postgraduate Research Completions

  • Kath McFarlane PhD Law, Welfare to juvenile justice: children in out of home care and criminal justice
  • Jane Walker PhD Social Science, Mothers in prison
  • Inara Walden PhD Social Policy,Talking back to Policy: Aboriginal participation in policy development
  • Alison Wannan, PhD Social Work, Community regeneration in public housing
  • Bruno van Aaken PhD, Criminology Experience of transition from prison and post-release
  • Amanda Wilson (APA) PhD Law, Women and drug courts
  • Elizabeth McEntyre, PhD Social Work, Aboriginal women with mental health and cognitive disability in the criminal justice system
  • Ruth McCausland, PhD Social Work, The relevance of a human rights approach to development in Indigenous policy in Australia, in particular to addressing disadvantage and discrimination experienced by indigenous women
  • Susan Margaret Kim Green, PhD Social Work, 2015 History of Aboriginal welfare in NSW
  • Thi Thai Lan Nguyen, PhD Social Work, 2015 The role of international organisations in the provision of social service for disadvantaged people in Viet Nam
  • Jonine Leigh Penrose-Wall, PhD Social Work, 2014 To 'get a life' rather than suicide: sociality and reconnecting after major mental disorder
  • Philip Birch, PhD Criminology, 2014 Re-theorising men who procure sexual services
  • Meredith Nirui, PhD Social Science & Policy, 2013 Child and family homelessness
  • Benito Folino, PhD Social Work, 2012 Policy activism of ministerial staff within the NSW parliamentary system: implications for social policy and representative democracy
  • Diane Margaret Gosden, PhD Social Work, 2012 Australian asylum seeker and refugee policy: A contested area
  • Phillip Snoyman, PhD Social Work, 2010, Staff in the NSW criminal justice system’s understanding of people with and without disability who offend
  • Juanita Marion Sherwood, PhD Social Work, 2010, Do no harm: decolonising Aboriginal health research
  • Jean Robinson Burke, PhD Social Work, 2009, Role of social ties in the prevention of post-natal HIV transmission to children in East Africa
  • Chrisanta Kanini Muli, PhD Social Work, 2008, Information and communication rights and needs of urban poor women, and their community development initiatives in Narobi, and state policy
  • Ed Green, PhD Social Work, 2006, Staying Bush: a study of gay men in rural area
  • Rachel MargoulisPhD Social Science, 2005 Homeless Youth Living on the Streets of Sydney
  • Melinda Sotiri, PhD Social Work, 2003, Punishment and imprisonment in New South Wales: Towards a conceptual analysis of purpose
  • Jan Breckenridge PhD Social Work 1998
  • Jo Barrakett Social Policy PhD 1997



Teaching Areas


Current Teaching

  • CRIM 2031 Aboriginal issues in criminal justice
  • CRIM 2032 Disability in the Criminal Justice system    

Affiliation and Memberships

  • Australian and New Zealand Society of Criminology
  • Australian Social Policy Association

Other Information

2009 Justice Medal – NSW Law and Justice Foundation. The Justice Medal is the premier award presented at the annual Justice Awards. It goes to an individual for outstanding achievement in improving access to justice in NSW, particularly for socially and economically disadvantaged people.

Past research projects:

  • Evaluation and research on Intensive Family Support and Community Links services, Spastic Centre, Burnside and Northcott, consultant, 2006-2010
  • People with Mental Health Disorders and Cognitive Disability in the Criminal Justice System, an ARC Linkage research grant, chief investigator, collaborates with Emeritus Prof Ian Webster & Dr Leanne Dowse, 2006-2009
  • Needs analysis of Aboriginal women with dependent children leaving prison – research consultancy with Homelessness NSW/ACT, Department of Corrective Services and Department of Community Services, 2007-08
  • Evaluation of Prison Fellowship programs for Children of Prisoners, 2007-08
  • People with Intellectual Disability in the CJS, a DADHC grant, chief investigator, 2009/10
  • Housing Homelessness and people with MHD&CD, a Housing NSW contract, chief investigator, 2009/10
  • Evaluation of Aboriginal women leaving prison support program Homelessness NSW, chief investigator, 2007/08
  • MHDCD and Alcohol amongst people in the criminal justice system, an AERF (Alcohol Education and Rehabilitation Foundation) grant, chief investigator 2010/11

My Qualifications

BA, Dip Ed, Dip TEFL, MWP, PhD

My Awards


100 Women of Influence 2016

2009 NSW Justice Medal

My Teaching

  • Criminology 
  • Social Policy
  • Social Development

Postgraduate Research Supervision
Eileen is currently supervising students working on various aspects of the NSW prison and criminal justice systems, children in the criminal justice system, community development in public housing neighbourhoods, homelessness, Indigenous welfare, Indigenous women post-release.

The main topics include:

  • The relevance of a human rights approach to development in Indigenous policy in Australia, in particular to addressing disadvantage and discrimmination experienced by indigenous women.
  • History of Aboriginal welfare in NSW.
  • Community regeneration in public housing.
  • Aborignal women with mental and cognitive disability: experiences in the criminal justice system.
  • Mothers in prison.
  • Post-release service experiences and desistance for people leaving prison in NSW.
  • Children in out of home care and criminalisation.
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Room 225 Law and Justice Building