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.
NT Police Use Taser Against Unarmed Child

In November 2016, three boys under the age of 18 were apprehended by police at a Northern Territory petrol station after dangerously driving a stolen car through a school area. During the arrest, the youngest of the passengers in the car, aged 12, was tasered by a plain-clothed police officer.

CCTV footage shows that the boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was unarmed and running away from the officer when the taser was used.

He received charges around the unlawful use of the vehicle, resisting arrest, and unlicensed driving. He pleaded guilty to the first of these charges, however his lawyers argued that the use of the taser was unlawful and that charges around his apprehension should be dropped.  In the Darwin Children's Court last week, Judge Fong Lim agreed that the taser should not have been used on a child, around the dangerous liquids at the petrol station, or around other drivers who may have lost control of their vehicles, and found the arrest to be unlawful. Judge Lim also noted that the boy was not endangering the officer at the time, and that his offence was not particularly serious.

However, an internal police investigation found that the officers actions had not been unlawful. The complaint against the officer is still being investigated by the Ombudsman.

National Children's Commissioner Megan Mitchell commented that she found it difficult to "accept that alternate methods for constraining and apprehending children can't be found and that officers would not be skilled in these. I don't think it's ever appropriate [to taser a child] and I think it should be avoided at all costs, unless it's an extreme situation and the public is in extreme danger. These are high-voltage instruments and they pose great risk to developing organs, the brain and eyes, they would hurt and they sometimes even result in death I understand. We really should be trying to eliminate the use of tasers and especially in regards to children".

The Northern Territory Chief Minister Michael Gunner, however, argued that the use of tasers on children should not be banned: "No one wants to see children tasered, but police need to be allowed to do their jobs to protect Territorians. Police need to be allowed to make the best decisions they can during live situations."

The officer remains on duty and authorised to use a taser.

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Upcoming Events
The Reintegration Puzzle: Changing Systems from the Inside Out

Date: 21-23 June 2017
Location: Rydges Sydney Central, Sydney, Australia

The 13th Annual Reintegration Puzzle Conference: Changing Systems from the Inside Out will focus on how systems work to enable people to successfully reintegrate into the community after prison and how they create additional barriers. The role people with lived experience of prison can play in changing systems will also be explored.

Speakers at the conference include:

  • ​Glenn E. Martin -  JustLeadership USA (JLUSA)
  • Keenan Mundine - Inside Out Aboriginal Justice Consultancy
  • Lana Sandas - Women in Prison Advocacy Network (WIPAN)

The call for papers guidelines for the conference can be found here. Abstracts are due by Friday 3 March 2017.

Further information about the conference can be found at the conference website.

Early Bird Registration for the Second International Conference on Non-Adversarial Justice closing tomorrow 17 February 2017 – Book now and save!
Date: 6-8 April 2017
Location: PARKROYAL Darling Harbour, Sydney NSW

The Australasian Institute of Judicial Administration is pleased to announce that The Second International Conference on Non-Adversarial Justice: Integrating Theory and Practice will be held at PARKROYAL Darling Harbour in Sydney, from 6-8 April 2017.

The Conference Organising Committee is very excited about the number of high quality presentations from eminent Australian and international speakers in the conference program on Family violence, Therapeutic jurisprudence, Restorative justice, Lawyers and non-adversarial justice, Appropriate dispute resolution, Indigenous justice, Solution-focussed & Problem Oriented Courts, Mental Health Courts, Family law jurisdiction, Mediation, Drug Courts, Procedural justice and Community justice.

Keynote Speakers
  • Professor Warren Brookbanks, Auckland University of Technology
  • Chief Justice Wayne Martin, Supreme Court of Western Australia
  • Professor David Wexler, Rogers College of Law, Tucson Arizona
  • Dr Karni Perlman, Striks School of Law, Israel
  • Emeritus Professor Arie Freiberg, Faculty of Law, Monash University
  • Jon Everest, Fellow of Resolution Institute
  • Emeritus Professor Michael Perlin, New York Law School
  • Professor Tania Sourdin, University of Newcastle Law School
For full conference details and to register now please visit www.naj2017.com. Early Bird Registration closing 17 February 2017 – Book now and save!
Crime and Justice in Asia and the Global South: An International Conference
Date: 10-13th July 2017
Location: Shangri-La Hotel, Cairns, Australia

This event is co-hosted by the Crime and Justice Research Centre (QUT) and the Asian Criminological Society. Distinguished speakers include:
  • Professor Rosemary Barberet, John Jay College of Criminal Justice (USA)
  • Professor Jianhong Liu, University of Macau
  • Professor Raewyn Connell, University of Sydney
  • Professor Chuen-Jim Sheu, National Tapei University
  • Professor Guoling Zhao Peking University, China
  • Professor Stephen Tomsen, University of Western Sydney
  • Professor Elliot Currie, University of California
  • John Braithwaite, RegNet, ANU
For more information or to submit an abstract, please visit the conference website. The deadline for abstract submissions is the 31st of March 2017.
Forensic & Applied Victimology Course
Date: 28-30 April 2017
Location: Bond University, Robina, QLD

Hosted by Forensic Analytic, this three day course will provide a holistic theoretical and practical understanding of the role of the victim in a variety of contexts.  Participants will learn about an approach to understanding victimity through the lens of social science covering a number of topics including; applied crime analysis, victim precipitation, solvability and homicide, victim motivations, and more. 

There will two amazing key note speakers:
  • Dr. Wayne Petherick - forensic criminologist and is currently Associate Professor of Criminology at Bond University, and principal at Forensic Analytic.  In addition to teaching and research, Wayne works on cases from risk and threat, to stalking, sexual assault, and homicide. These are for private clients, legal professionals, and various criminal justice agencies.  Wayne has lectured in Australia and many states of the U.S.A in the areas of criminal motivations, forensic victimology, criminal profiling, applied crime analysis, stalking, sexual assault, and homicide (including multiple homicide). He has written a number of journal articles and textbooks, his newest ‘The Psychology of Criminal and Antisocial  Behaviour’ is to be released in the coming days. 
  • Dr. Amber McKinley - an Applied Victimologist and subject co-ordinator for JST311 Evidence and Investigation and JST345 Police and Victims at Charles Sturt University's (CSU) Australian Graduate School of Policing and Security. She holds a Bachelor of Liberal Studies, a Masters of Criminal Justice and a Doctor of Philosophy. Her thesis investigated Homicide Solvability Factors and Applied Victimology in New South Wales from 1994 – 2013. Amber is also a Squadron Leader (Specialist Reserve) in the Royal Australian Air Force and consults with the Australia Defence Force Investigative Service. She teaches and researches an array of topics, including applied and forensic victimology, homicide, solvability and clearance rates, police investigations of serious crimes and the changing homicide typologies.  Amber's current research projects are focused on aspects of multi-agency and trauma-informed victim care in police investigations.
For further information or to register, please contact Natasha atnatasha@forensicanalytic.com
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Recent Publications
Readiness to change drug use and help-seeking intentions of police detainees: findings from the DUMA program

By Alexandra Gannoni and Susan Goldsmid

The nexus between drug use and crime is well established. Offenders are considerably more likely to use illicit drugs than the general population, and a large proportion of offenders attribute their criminal offending to drug use, yet very little is known about how to respond effectively to drug problems among police detainees.

Using data obtained through the Drug Use Monitoring in Australia (DUMA) program, this paper explores the readiness to change drug use and help-seeking intentions of Australian police detainees with drug problems.

The analysis revealed those detainees most in need of drug treatment were also those most ready to change their drug use. The findings serve as a reminder of the need and desire for interventions for drug abuse among the police detainee population, and have implications for the development of intervention strategies aimed at reducing drug use among offender populations.

The full article can be found here.

Who is the Usual Suspect? Evidence of a Selection Bias Toward Faces That Make Direct Eye Contact in a Lineup Task
By Celine van Golde, Jessica Taubert and Frans Verstraten

The speed and ease with which we recognize the faces of our friends and family members belies the difficulty we have recognizing less familiar individuals. Nonetheless, overconfidence in our ability to recognize faces has carried over into various aspects of our legal system; for instance, eyewitness identification serves a critical role in criminal proceedings. For this reason, understanding the perceptual and psychological processes that underlie false identification is of the utmost importance. Gaze direction is a salient social signal and direct eye contact, in particular, is thought to capture attention. Here, the researchers tested the hypothesis that differences in gaze direction may influence difficult decisions in a lineup context. In a series of experiments, they show that when a group of faces differed in their gaze direction, the faces that were making eye contact with the participants were more likely to be misidentified. Interestingly, this bias disappeared when the faces are presented with their eyes closed. These findings open a critical conversation between social neuroscience and forensic psychology, and imply that direct eye contact may (wrongly) increase the perceived familiarity of a face.

The article can be found online here.
Annual Review of Interdisciplinary Justice Research

The Annual Review of Interdisciplinary Justice Research (IJR)is a double blind peer review journal that publishes articles dealing with thematic issues in law and justice, and related disciplines. The idea began in response to the Centre for Interdisciplinary Justice Studies' first conference, “Theorizing Justice”, when Fernwood Press and some members of  CIJS collaborated in publishing a peer reviewed collection of academic papers as a reader entitled “Thinking About Justice”. Subsequently they have published multiple volumes engaging the themes of their conference calls.

Their editors have received submissions from scholars studying issues of justice in the international academic community. Their contributors have been notable academics, theorists, policy specialists, activists, justice practitioners, lawyers, and graduate students. The topics of the papers they have published span the disciplines of law, criminal justice, criminology, constitutional theory, sociology of law, psychology of law, politics, culture and media analysis of justice, poverty and its intersection with justice issues, Indigenous issues of justice, law and justice and economic justice.

Volume 6 of the journal includes articles on topics such as campus sexual assault, bestiality, rural policing, Indigenous land reclamations, and more. It also includes an article by Institute member Dr Carolyn McKay, who discussed the role of visual art in portraying the experiences of prison inmates. The journal can be found online here.

Social Impact Bonds and recidivism: A new solution to an old problem?
By Tom Gotsis

Recidivism is not a topic that has traditionally been associated with the world of high finance. Yet, in recent times, recidivism and other intractable social challenges have become the subject of Social Impact Bonds (SIBs); a novel form of investment that makes use of private funds to address pressing public concerns.

In July 2016 the NSW Government entered into its third SIB and Australia’s first recidivism SIB, known as On TRACC (Transition, Reintegration and Community Correction). On TRACC funds intensive support services to parolees, particularly in the first four months after their release, in order to facilitate their successful reintegration into the community. 

This paper provides an overview of SIBs. It defines recidivism, and considers the extent and costs of recidivism in NSW. The effectiveness of overseas SIBs designed to reduce recidivism is examined. The paper concludes by discussing NSW’s nascent experience with SIBs, including its new On TRACC recidivism SIB.

The article can be found here.
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Job Advertisements
Lecturer/Senior Lecturer in Crime Science - University of Waikato, New Zealand

This is an exciting opportunity to join the University of Waikato's Institute for Security and Crime Science.

The Institute brings together academics and researchers with cross-disciplinary expertise and capabilities and builds on effective collaboration and research partnerships with relevant agencies and established international relationships. The research team is distinguished by significant expertise and experience in delivering excellent, high-quality science with relevance and application to real-world problems.

The appointee will be required to deliver research-informed teaching in our Master of Security and Crime Science degree, maintain an active research programme, supervise postgraduate students and contribute to administrative and relevant external professional/community activities.

You will have a PhD in a relevant field, an established and successful record of research and publishing at a national and preferably international level and demonstrated high-level teaching and supervision skills. Proven success in attracting external research funding would be an advantage. The ability to teach the Masters-level papers, Foundations of Security and Crime Science and Preventing Crime and Security Risks Through Operational and Environmental Analytics is essential.

The level of appointment will be dependent on qualifications, skills and experience.

Closing date: 20 February 2017

To apply in confidence, please go to http://www.jofisher.com/ and click "APPLY ONLINE" using reference WKTics0117 and include your cover letter and full curriculum vitae; or for a confidential discussion call Kirsten Henderson + 64 9 282 4240 or Jo Fisher on +61 3 9016 6000.

Senior Research Officer - Crime and Corruption Commission, QLD

The QLD Crime and Corruption Commission are looking for an individual who can conduct major research and evaluation projects, and provide high level advice about research methodology and analysis. 

The ideal applicant will demonstrate capability in the following requirements:  

  • Extensive experience in scoping, designing and conducting social science research, preferably applied in a context relevant to the work of the Commission.
  • Extensive experience in a conducting quantitative and qualitative data analyses of social science data, including using SPSS and/or SAS.
  • Extensive experience managing research projects, including preparing project plans, monitoring quality and timeliness, and supervising staff.
  • Experience in policy analysis, preferably applied in a context relevant to the work of the Commission.
  • Demonstrated ability to establish and maintain effective networks with internal and external stakeholders.
  • Excellent writing skills, including the ability to prepare a variety of research and policy outputs in a timely manner. 
For any inquiries, please contact Madonna Devaney on telephone (07) 3360 6060 or email hr@ccc.qld.gov.au. Further information about the position can be found here. Applications close on the 22nd of February.
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Student Opportunities
CJRC Postgraduate Scholarships in Southern Criminology
Applications are now open for Postgraduate Scholarships in Southern Criminology. The main purpose of the scholarships are to support the travel and attendance of domestic and international postgraduate students to the Crime and Justice in Asia and the Global South: International Conference, July 2017.

Successful applicants will receive a scholarship of up to AU$1,000 to be used towards flights and accommodation to attend the postgraduate day and main conference in Cairns. Additionally, conference registrations fees will be waived for scholarship recipients.

To be eligible to apply, applicants must be current PhD students, at least 12 months into their candidature.

For more information and to apply, click here.
Applications open for Sydney Institute of Criminology semester 1 internships
The Institute’s internship program is open to LLB, JD and Masters of Criminology students of the Sydney Law School. The program is undertaken on a pro-bono basis. Interns must be available to work 10 full days over semester 1.

The internship program will be of interest to students seeking to gain experience in an organisation devoted to research and public policy in the area of criminal justice. Interns will be provided with the opportunity to participate in a broad range of Institute activities and to interact, both formally and informally, with Institute staff members.

To apply, please send a cover letter, CV, copy of your academic transcript, writing sample, and details of two academic referees to law.criminology@sydney.edu.au.

Applications for the semester 1 internship close at 5pm Friday 24 February 2017. For more information, please visit the Institute's website.
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