Economic modelling of speech pathology intervention
Economic modelling provides evidence that speech pathology intervention can decrease crime rates and improve health and economic outcomes for society.
Speech pathologists play a crucial role in early intervention and there are well established social and economic benefits to both the individuals receiving the interventions as well as community as a whole. However, to date, there has been limited evidence of the specific nature of the economic benefits that may be associated with the provision of speech pathology services in the Australian Justice context
Speech Pathology Australia commissioned the Intellectual Disability Behaviour Support Program at the University Of New South Wales in conjunction with The Centre for Health Economics and Research (CHERE) at the University of Technology, Sydney to investigate the life course impact of speech pathology intervention for people with speech, language and communication needs who are most at risk of contact with, or who are in criminal justice systems and to explore the economic benefits of such interventions. The aim was to quantify the impact of therapeutic interventions on youth and adult crime in order to demonstrate how providing appropriate therapy for people with speech, language and communication needs impacts on future life pathways with a particular focus on reducing the risk of future contact with the criminal justice system and the costs associated with this.
By integrating case studies and measuring cost savings from intervention at different life stages and of differing intensities (Tier 1, 2 or 3) using regressive analysis, modelled outcomes and different risk trajectories were reported. This led to a cost-benefits analytic model being developed.
The findings were startling. It was found that speech pathology intervention that led to an increase in speech, language and communication skills would decrease risks of antisocial behaviour and offending behaviour. The earlier in life a person accesses speech pathology intervention, the greater the cumulative benefit.
In addition, the report indicates that the gains made in speech pathology intervention led to better life trajectories as a whole, not only in terms of decreased contact with justice, but relating to positive effects on education and the economic environment.
This means speech therapy does not only help people to communicate, but that it also has a positive flow on effect on the economic, social and health of the whole community through decreasing crime and welfare needs and increasing employment instead of incarceration.
View the Economic evaluation of the impact of speech pathology services on criminal justice outcomes report .
Speech Pathology in Justice infographic
The Association has produced a new infographic that sits alongside the Economic Modelling report outlined on this page, and the Speech Pathology in Justice Clinical Guideline and Position Statement.
View the Speech Pathology and Justice infographic .