2 May
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.
The Hillsborough Inquests
On Tuesday 26 April 2016, after sitting through two years of evidence during the longest coronial hearing in English history, heard in the largest purpose-built courtroom in England, the Hillsborough Inquests jury returned from two weeks of deliberation to deliver their conclusions. They were tasked with answering 14 questions relating to the cause and circumstances of the deaths of 96 people who died as a result of the fatal crush at the Hillsborough Football Stadium, in Sheffield, England, on 15 April 1989 when they were attending the Football Association Cup Semi-Final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest. The jury concluded that the 96 people who died were unlawfully killed. The jury also concluded that the behaviour of fans did not contribute to the dangerous conditions, rejecting police claims to the contrary, and that there were errors and omissions with regards to the police planning and preparation for the match, police response to the disaster, and the emergency services response.

The Hillsborough Inquests were the second inquests to investigate the Hillsborough deaths. The original inquests (1989-1991) were part of a constellation of numerous official investigations, reviews and inquiries into the disaster. Yet, despite an 11-year period of official scrutiny, many of the bereaved and the survivors did not feel the truth of Hillsborough had been made public. In 2009, MPs Andy Burnham and Maria Eagle advocated for the full public disclosure of information about Hillsborough, publicly supporting the Hillsborough Family Support Group’s 20-year campaign. The UK Government subsequently waived the 30-year rule protecting public records from disclosure, and in 2010 the UK Home Secretary appointed the Hillsborough Independent Panel, which included criminologist Phil Scraton, to oversee and manage the public disclosure of documents relating to the disaster, to consult with the Hillsborough families and work on archiving the documents. When the Panel released its report in 2012, it revealed a catalogue of official failings including police alteration of statements, and the inadequacy of the inquest process, simultaneously dismantling the official ‘truth’ of Hillsborough, which had blamed the Liverpool fans for the fatal crush.

On 19 December 2012, the original Hillsborough inquests, at that point the longest in British legal history, were judged a failure when the High Court quashed the original inquisitions, allowing new inquests to be held. The new Hillsborough Inquests opened on 31 March 2014, before the Right Honourable Sir John Goldring, sitting as Assistant Coroner for South Yorkshire (East) and West Yorkshire (West), charged with establishing the causes and circumstances of the 96 Hillsborough deaths. That the families of the Hillsborough victims wanted the original verdicts overturned, as the number one priority, and for new inquests to be held, illustrates the signal importance of this aspect of the Hillsborough record. Ostensibly, with the conclusion of unlawful killing, after 27 years, the record has been corrected to achieve this crucial aspect of ‘justice for the 96’.

Professor Phil Scraton (biography below), who has produced notable academic work on Hillsborough, and who worked with families’ legal teams, on secondment, throughout the Hillsborough inquests, will be visiting Sydney in October 2016 as a guest of the University of New South Wales. The Sydney Institute of Criminology is pleased to announce that, as part of the Institute’s 50th Anniversary in 2016, Professor Scraton will be delivering a 50th Anniversary Lecture on the politics and challenges of critical criminological research.

Phil Scraton PhD is Professor of Criminology in the School of Law, Queen’s University, Belfast. He was Director of The Hillsborough Project 1989-95, principal author of Hillsborough and After: The Liverpool Experience (LCC 1990) and No Last Rights: The Promotion of Myth and the Denial of Justice in the Aftermath of the Hillsborough Disaster (LCC/Alden Press, 1995)He is the author numerous academic articles on Hillsborough and of Hillsborough: The Truth (1st edn 1999; 2nd edn 2000; 3rd edn 2009). In 2010 he was appointed by the UK Home Secretary to the Hillsborough Independent Panel heading its research. He is primary author of its Report, Hillsborough (The Stationery Office, 2013). In 2013 his Hillsborough research received Queen’s University’s inaugural award for research impact and was runner-up in the THES UK Research Project of the Year. The ESPN/ BBC documentary Hillsborough, short-listed in 2014 for an EMMY, is based on his work. Currently he is on secondment to the Hillsborough families’ legal teams at the new inquests (2014-2016). The fourth edition of Hillsborough: The Truth will be published by Random House in 2016.

Dr Rebecca Scott-Bray 
Director Sydney Institute of Criminology
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Recent Publications
NSW Custody Statistics: Quarterly Update March 2016
The NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research have recently released NSW Custody Statistics: Quarterly Update March 2016. The NSW adult prison population grew by nine per cent between April 2015 and March 2016, reaching a new record high in March of 12,390. This brings the total increase in the NSW adult prison population over the last two years to 15 per cent. The increase is attributable to a growth in prisoners on remand (i.e. unconvicted prisoners awaiting trial or sentence). Between April 2015 and March 2016 the number of adult prisoners on remand grew by 18 per cent (from 3,466 to 4,090). Over the same period, the number of sentenced prisoners rose by four per cent (from 7,956 to 8,300).

The increase in adult remand numbers in the last 12 months was higher for non-Indigenous prisoners (up 20.1%) than for Indigenous prisoners (up 11.3%). Receptions of prisoners on remand and receptions of sentenced prisoners both increased over the last 12 months; the former by 37 per cent and the latter by 20 per cent. 

The largest increases in the adult remand population over the last three months were for prisoners charged with dangerous/negligent acts (up 28.6%); sexual assault (16.2%); fraud/deception (up 12.8%); and abduction/harassment (up 11.5%).

Commenting on the findings, the Director of BOCSAR said that, receptions of remand prisoners had been rising at an average rate of 2.6% per month since June 2014. “The percentage of defendants refused bail at their first court appearance has risen sharply since June 2014, not long after reforms to the NSW Bail Act were introduced.”

“Since more than half of all remand prisoners end up receiving a prison sentence, the rise in the bail refusal rate is one of the factors putting upward pressure on the NSW prison population.”

Dr Don Weatherburn will be delivering a lecture at the Sydney Institute of Criminology in celebration of our 50th Anniversary on Wednesday 11 May which will discuss these findings in more detail. More information about the lecture is available below and via our website.
Use and acceptance of biometric technologies among victims of identity crime and misuse in Australia
Catherine Emami, Dr Rick Brown & Dr Russell G Smith

Security technology is in widespread use among victims of identity crime, with 95 percent reporting having used some form of security (mostly passwords). Far fewer have used biometric security, with fingerprint recognition being the most commonly used (17%). There is a willingness to use biometric security in future with 61 percent willing to use fingerprint recognition and 41 percent willing to use iris recognition. Older Australians are particularly willing to use biometric technology. These findings are from a 2014 survey of identity crime and misuse and focused on 446 individuals who reported being a victim of identity crime in the previous year. This study has implications for law enforcement, policy makers and developers of biometric security. 

Study in prison reduces recidivism and welfare dependence: A case study from Western Australia 2005–2010
Margaret Giles

This paper describes the effectiveness of correctional education in improving post-release outcomes. The report shows that the more classes completed by prisoners the lower the rate of re-incarceration and the less likely they are to increase the seriousness of their offending. In addition, the more classes the inmate successfully completes, the less likely they are to reoffend and to access unemployment benefits. This research has implications for corrections policy makers and shows the benefit of investing in prison education.
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Upcoming Events
"Rack 'em, Stack 'em and Pack 'em": Decarceration in an Age of Zero Tolerance
The Sydney Institute of Criminology is pleased to present this lecture in a series celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Institute. Join us as Dr Don Weatherburn of the New South Wales Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) reflects on Australia's growing prison populations. This event will be chaired by Professor Eileen Baldry from the University of New South Wales. 

About the lecture: 
In the 66 years between 1918 and 1984, the Australian imprisonment rate rose by just 13 per cent. In the 29 years that followed, it more than doubled. Australia now has more than 36,000 people behind bars. Our imprisonment rate exceeds that of Canada, the United Kingdom and most of Europe. The Indigenous imprisonment is now more than 45 per cent higher than it was at the time of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody. The rate of female imprisonment has quadrupled since 1982.  This paper considers how we got to this point, what costs and benefits we've accrued along the way, and what measures might be effective in reducing rates of imprisonment.   

Date: Wednesday 11 May 
Time: 5:30 pm registration, 6pm - 7:30pm lecture 
Location: Common Room, Level 4, New Law Building (F10), Eastern Avenue, University of Sydney
More information is available via our website.
Screening Prospective Jurors for Racial Partiality in Canada: How Far Have We Come?

Canadian law recognizes the right of racialized accused to challenge prospective jurors for cause based on racial partiality, but how effective is that screening process in practice? Reviewing twenty years of decisions on challenges for cause, Professor Ruparelia asserts that a vast majority of judges resist attempts by defence counsel to pose more sophisticated and nuanced questions that would better reveal complex and elusive forms of contemporary prejudice, including subconscious racism. Instead, judicial misconceptions about the nature of racism have served to obstruct rather than advance attempts to minimize racial bias in jury decision-making.

Rakhi Ruparelia is an Associate Professor of Law at the University of Ottawa in Canada, where she teaches courses on Race, Racism and the Law and the Theory and Practice of Social Justice Law. After completing her graduate studies at Harvard Law School, Rakhi joined the Prison Reform Advocacy Center in Cincinnati, Ohio where she established and directed a community legal clinic to assist ex-prisoners with legal issues impeding their transition back to society. Her current research interests focus on critical race and feminist perspectives on law, particularly in the context of the criminal justice system.

Date: Wednesday 4 May 
Time: 12pm - 1pm. 
Location: Common Room, Level 4, New Law Building (F10), Eastern Avenue, University of Sydney
Cost: Free, but registration essential. To register, please email law.criminology@sydney.edu.au

Islamophobia in Australia, Western Sydney University
The Religion and Society Research Cluster of the School of Social Sciences and Psychology present a symposium on Islamophobia in the Australian context. Speakers: Emeritus Professor Riaz Hassan (University of SA), Professor Scott Poynting (University of Auckland), and Dr Jennifer Cheng and Dr Oishee Alam (Western Sydney University). Discussant: Associate Prof Alana Lentin (Western Sydney University).

Date and Time: Wednesday 11 May 2016, 10am - 5pm. 
Venue: Bansktown Campus Building 3, Room G.55
RSVP: By Thursday 4 May, 2016 to a.nixon@westernsydney.edu.au 
Upcoming Professional Development Courses in May 2016
Psychology of Crime Course – 7 May 2016. This course is delivered by an experienced forensic psychologist and it provides practical insights into working with forensic clients.

Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) Course – 19 and 20 May 2016. This intensive course, delivered by an internationally renowned CPTED practitioner, will provide hands-on opportunities to apply CPTED knowledge and skills.

Working with Domestic Violence Offenders Course – 27 May 2016 This one-day course will be delivered by a staff member from the NSW Corrective Services Academy and will focus on practical skills required to work effectively with domestic violence offenders.
Sydney Law School Postgraduate Information Evening
Register now for the 2016 Sydney Law School Postgraduate Information Evening. Sydney Law School is one of the world's leading law schools, ranked 11 in the QS World Universities Rankings for the discipline of law. Our research is world class: Sydney Law School received the highest possible rating of five in the Australian Research Council 2015 and 2012 Excellence for Research in Australia (ERA) outcomes reports.  

We offer one of Australia's largest and most specialised coursework programs in law, with 80 percent of units offered on an intensive basis. The coursework program reflects the latest developments within the practice and profession of law. This information session will cover details of the Master of Criminology program offered at the University of Sydney Law School. 

Date: Tuesday, 31 May 2016
Time: 5pm - 7pm 
Venue: Law Foyer, Level 2, New Law Building
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Job Advertisements
John O'Brien Memorial Scholarship in Criminology
Applications are now open for the John O’Brien Memorial Coursework Scholarship in Criminal Law and Criminology. The scholarships are awarded annually to students of the University of Sydney Law School commencing in the Master of Criminology by coursework.

Award Criteria:
  1. The scholarship is competitive and awarded on merit to the most outstanding applicant assessed against the following two selection criteria:
    a) prior academic achievement, which must include a relevant university degree with an Australian-equivalent average of at least 75%; 
    b) demonstrated commitment to applying the learning offered in the Master of Criminology to make a positive difference to the criminal justice system.
  2. Applicants are required to submit an online application addressing the above criteria, including certified details of prior academic results. Scholarships will be awarded by a committee chaired by the Associate Dean, Postgraduate Coursework.
Applications close 31 May 2016. For more information on the scholarship and how to apply, please visit the University of Sydney website.
Criminal Lawyer, Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service
Transition Worker - Extended Reintegration Service, Community Restorative Centre NSW
The Transition Worker will provide a broad range of transitional outreach casework services to people experiencing multiple needs including mental illness, cognitive impairment, AOD issues and homelessness who are exiting NSW Correctional Centres. Casework services are delivered on an outreach basis.  Position is generally Monday to Friday between 8am and 6pm; with occasional out-of-hours’ work to be performed as required.
  • 38 hours per week
  • Contract to 30th June 2017
  • Terms and Conditions of employment as per Level 4 Pay Point 4 of the SCHADS Award 2010
  • Rate of pay equivalent to SACS Award Grade 4 year 4 ($64,007.84 gross per annum plus generous salary packaging options)
  • Based in Liverpool
More information about this role is available here.
Director Policy, Office for Policy - Justice Strategy and Policy Division, NSW Department of Justice
As Director, you will lead and manage a particular Policy team, build and maintain mutually-beneficial partnerships within the Justice Cluster and the Police portfolio.

The primary purpose of the role will be to develop and review law enforcement policy, the review/preparation of relevant legislation that achieves Government objectives. The role manages a small team of dedicated policy staff. A key expectation is to manage, co-ordinate and produce sound policy outcomes in the sphere of policing. The successful applicant will vet and ensure that quality work is provided to the Executive Director.

Closing date: 13 May 2016 (11:59pm). More information about the role is available here.
Area Operations Manager, Life Without Barriers, Orange
Life Without Barriers has an exciting opportunity for an experienced Area Operations Manager to join the Western team in Orange, NSW. You will be responsible for the overall management of services across several business units. This includes accountability for programs, budgets, team, external relationships and image and reputation. This position is a permanent full time role however a secondment option may be considered. The successful candidate will be required to travel to other locations.

Applications close 11 June 2016. More information about the role is available here.
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