No Burnout at this Coal-Face: Managing Occupational Stress in Forensic Personnel and the Implications for Forensic and Criminal Justice Agencies

Dr Sally Kelty, Heidi Gordon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)


Working as a police officer, psychiatric intern, crime scene expert or forensic physician can be stressful and these occupations have high burnout rates. Almost 20% of police officers and other justice-related emergency management personnel develop heightened occupational stress. In some Australian law-enforcement agencies, attrition rates of close to 50% over 3 years have been reported for forensic practitioners and crime scene examiners (CSEs). Included in these rates are a large number of CSEs who report long-term psychological injury due to their exposure to serious crime scenes. We interviewed 19 CSEs designated by their workplaces as performing at a high level to determine how they manage this stressful occupational. The CSEs were aware of the potential stress of their occupation and actively engaged in self stress-management strategies. In this article, we overview the results with attention given to why forensic organizations should invest in promoting stress-management strategies in their employees
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)273-290
Number of pages18
JournalPsychiatry, Psychology and Law
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


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