8 February 2016
CrimNet
Sydney Institute of Criminology
CrimNet is an electronic criminal justice information network, sponsored by the Sydney Institute of Criminology. It aims to fulfil the need for a means of regular and instant communication between criminal justice professionals, practitioners, academics and students in Australia and overseas.
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Report on Government Services 2016

The Productivity Commission recently published its 21st annual Report on Government Services. This report provides a national picture on government spending and service delivery across a number of portfolios including justice. Volume C: Justice, published on 29 January 2016, consists of 721 pages of detailed information. Specifically, Volume C focuses on police, courts and corrective services by each State and Territory. While there are numerous difficulties associated with capturing consistent information from each State and Territory across an array of indicators and measures, this report provides an invaluable insight into different criminal justice practices and outcomes in each Australian State and Territory. Volume C: Justice can be freely accessed here. 

Some highlights from this report include:

  • The overall real recurrent expenditure of justice services by Australian State and Territory governments increased in 2014-15 by 2.3% (the biggest growth occurring in corrective services expenditure), rising to a total of almost $15.3 billion (see pages C.7-8).
  • Nationally in 2014-15, 89.3% of people felt ‘safe’ or ‘very safe’ at home alone during the night, an increase from 84.3% in 2008-09 (see page C.13).
  • Nationally, 44.3% of released prisoners had returned to prison within two years (this was higher in NSW, with 48.1% returning to prison) , while 51.1% had returned to corrective services (again higher in NSW, with 52.9% returning to corrective services) (see page C.18).
  • Nationally, there was a total of 63,161 operational police staff in 2014-15 (see page C.20) and high levels of satisfaction were achieved with 77.5% of people surveyed saying that they were ‘satisfied’ or ‘very satisfied’ with services provided by police in Australia (see page C.25).
More detailed data and commentary is provided in the report and the individual chapters on police, courts and corrective services. This report provides a wealth of data and is an important resource for academics, students, practitioners and policymakers.
 
Garner Clancey 
Senior Lecturer (Criminology)
Sydney Law School
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Recent Publications
Parole and Sentencing: Research Report
The Parole and Sentencing Report considers how Victoria's courts’ use of non-parole periods changed between 2010–11 and 2014–15 and the factors that influenced the length of non-parole periods imposed by the courts during this period. The report shows Victoria's courts are increasingly adding community correction orders to prison sentences rather than setting a non-parole period. 

The report reveals a decline in the proportion of imprisonment sentences that included a non-parole period. Between 2010–11 and 2014–15, the proportion decreased: 
  • from 95% to 70% in the higher courts (the Supreme and County Courts)
  • from 22% to 10% in the Magistrates’ Court.
This shift is due to factors such as the phasing out of suspended sentences and reforms to the parole system. But the trend away from non-parole periods has been accelerated by a change to the Sentencing Act 1991 (Vic) from September 2014, increasing the maximum prison sentence that can be combined with a CCO from three months to two years. The change means that when imposing imprisonment terms of between one and two years, courts can now set a non-parole period or impose a CCO. 

The report finds that the courts embraced this change and are increasingly choosing to impose a CCO instead of a non-parole period. Between the September quarter of 2014 and the June quarter of 2015, the proportion of imprisonment sentences of between one and two years that included a CCO (and no non-parole period) increased:
  • from 0% to 72% in the higher courts
  • from 0% to 12% in the Magistrates’ Court. 
In contrast, the proportion of these imprisonment sentences that included a non-parole period decreased: 
  • from 94% to 21% in the higher courts
  • from 81% to 67% in the Magistrates’ Court.
Read the full report here.

Logics of Risk: Police Communications in an Age of Uncertainty
Murray Lee and Alyce McGovern

The risk society thesis suggests that risk thinking has, in the twenty-first century, become pervasive across numerous organisations, including police. Police are now one of a number of agents that put themselves forward as expert advisers on risk reduction and management techniques. Police organisations not only govern through risk logics and make claims to special expertise in risk management, communication and reduction; they are also increasingly governed by risk logics that, amongst other things, circumscribe what information can be released to the media and public, when, by whom, and to what ends. Based on qualitative research interviews with police communications professionals in Australian policing organisations, this paper argues that risk as an organising logic has strongly influenced the nature of contemporary police/media/public communications.

Read the full article here.

The Health and Well-being of Children in Immigration Detention
Elizabeth Elliott AM and Dr Hasantha Gunasekera 

Through observation, interview and formal testing, this report to the Australian Human Rights Commission stated that closed immigration detention in Wickham Point and Nauru is harmful to the health and mental health of young children and youth. It was reported that the children interviewed at Wickham Point, most of whom had spent several months in Nauru, were amongst the most traumatised children the paediatricians have ever seen. 

Read the full report here.


Locating Crime in Context and Place: Perspectives on Regional, Rural and Remote Australia
Edited by Alistair Harkness, Bridget Harris and David Baker 

The urban focus of crime has dominated the attention of criminologists. Although images of idyllic, crime-free areas beyond the cityscape persist, there is scant academic consideration of the realities and variances of crime across regional, rural and remote Australia.

Contributors to Locating Crime explore the nexus between crime and space, examining the complexities that exist in policing, prosecuting and punishing crime in different zones. The various authors draw upon original knowledge and insight and utilise innovative research and an interdisciplinary approach to their work.

Further details about the book and purchase information can be found here.
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Upcoming Events
Kaleidoscopic Justice: Mapping the Dimensions of Justice for Survivors of Sexual Violence presented by Professor Clare McGlynn (Durham University, UK)
Monash Criminology is hosting a seminar presentation from Professor Clare McGlynn of Durham University on Thursday 18 February 2016 at 11am (until approx 12:15pm) at Monash University, 20 Chancellors Walk (Menzies Building), Room N402.

Justice’ for survivors of sexual violence is the primary justification for almost every law or policy reform on this topic. But what does ‘justice’ really mean? While academics, policy-makers and campaigners espouse various approaches, surprisingly little is known about survivors own perspectives. This presentation shares the results of an empirical investigation into survivors’ understandings of justice. What emerged is a vision of justice we have conceptualised as ‘kaleidoscopic justice’. This is justice as a continually shifting pattern; justice constantly refracted through new circumstances, experiences and understandings; justice as non-linear, with multiple beginnings and possible endings; justice as a lived, on-going and ever-evolving experience rather than an ending or result. Such an approach suggests multiple dimensions to justice including, but not limited to, conventional criminal justice systems. The possibilities and challenges of more innovative justice approaches are considered, particularly in the context of feminist strategy and practice.

Please RSVP to Dr Anna Eriksson.

More details of this presentation, can be found here.

One Day Mandatory Continuing Legal Education in Criminal Law
Metella Road Primary School Hall, Toongabbie 
5 March 2016 

The Toongabbie Legal Centre is offering an affordable Saturday MCLE conference on Criminal Law. 

For more information and to register, please visit the Toongabbie Legal Centre website.
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Job Advertisements
Lawyer, NSW Crime Comission
The NSW Crime Commission is seeking to employ Lawyers to undertake professional litigation roles in delivering effective and efficient legal services for  the Commission.

The Commission is established to investigate and disrupt organised crime and other serious criminal activity and to pursue confiscation of the proceeds of crime.  The Commission is structured into a number of sections consisting of operational divisions, support teams and specialist units.  The Legal Unit supports the Commission’s operational divisions (e.g. Criminal Investigations, Financial Investigations) and also undertakes other legal assignments on behalf of the Commission.  It is anticipated that the successful candidates will also appear for the Commission in civil, criminal and administrative matters.

Successful candidates will have at least 4+ years of post-admission experience as a lawyer within a legal team, providing legal advice and services to both senior practitioners and non-lawyers on a range of issues. Successful candidates will also have had some advocacy experience and experience in briefing and instructing Counsel.

Salary: Approximately 80k. 

Applications close 15 February 2016. 

More information about this position is available here.


Lecturer (Law and Justice), University of South Queensland
The School of Law and Justice offers both a Bachelor of Laws (at undergraduate and Honours level) and a Juris Doctor degree, and supervises research masters in law and PhDs. Offering fully accredited legal qualifications through the LLB and JD programs, USQ seeking to appoint an accomplished Lecturer to assume responsibility for teaching family law and selected first year courses, and to take a significant role in supporting the quality teaching in the School.  As a teaching focused position, this provides an exciting opportunity to develop and support quality learning and teaching of the law and to make a difference to the learning and development of the School’s students.

Salary: Total renumeration range $101,935 to $120,483 pa. 

Applications close 19 February 2016. 

This position will be based at USQ Toowoomba, however you will also be required to teach at USQ Springfield.  Appointment to the position will commence on 1 July 2016.

More information about this position is available here.


Project Officer - Evaluation, Inner Melbourne Community Legal Centre
Inner Melbourne Community Legal (IMCL) is seeking a skilled evaluation and monitoring professional to undertake the role of Evaluation Officer.

The successful applicant will be responsible for planning, designing, implementing, conducting and reporting on evaluation activities for IMCL projects and programs. In particular, this role is responsible for the evaluation of IMCL’s ground-breaking work in Health-Justice Partnerships with 3 major metropolitan hospitals.

The position requires an individual with excellent interpersonal skills, an ability to work independently and who has great attention to detail.

The position is part-time (2 days/week) – with possible increased hours from time to time. It will be based at the IMCL office in North Melbourne.

Applications close 17 February 2016. 

More information about this position is available here.
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