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.
Remembering Professor Tony Vinson
Professor Tony Vinson, former head of the NSW Department of Corrections, died last week at the age of 81 after a long career of advocating for reforms in corrections, education and other government services. He was an Honorary Professor in the Faculty of Education and Social Work at the University of Sydney, and an Emeritus Professor in the School of Social Sciences and International Studies, at the University of New South Wales. He has been acknowledged as one of Australia's key social justice campaigners, having devoted his work to empowering and advocating for those experiencing societal disadvantage.

While he was involved in many fields, his work with the criminal justice system began with his role as a parole officer. Here, he was particularly confronted with the structural challenges contributing to people's incarceration, and the lack of post-release support given to those leaving custody. From 1971 to 1975, he served as the Foundation Director of the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, going on to lead the NSW Department of Corrections from 1979-1981. His acceptance of the role followed the Nagle Royal Commission into NSW Prisons in 1978, which investigated the issue of violence and mistreatment in NSW gaols, and he oversaw significant reforms to the state's prison system. 

He continued his career in the fields of education and social work, chairing an Independent Inquiry into NSW Public Education in 2001, and founding the Australian Social Inclusion Board in 2008. He also made significant contributions to research regarding the effects and distribution of social disadvantage in Australia. He will be remembered for his tireless efforts to reform key social systems and advocate for the country's least empowered.
Applications for Sydney Institute of Criminology semester 1 internships close this Friday!
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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Upcoming Events
5th International Conference on Cybercrime and Computer Forensics

Date: 16-18 July 2017
Location: Sofitel Gold Coast, Australia. 

Cybercrime Research, Policy and Practice: the Collaboration Imperative

Hosted by the Australian Institute of Criminology and the Asia Pacific Association of Technology and Society, the event will explore the rapid expansion of technology-enabled crime and how collaboration can inform technological, legal and policy responses in Australia and across the globe. 

Abstracts now open

Don’t miss your opportunity to present at this important cybercrime conference. Abstracts can address any relevant questions within the broad theme and you can choose to present in one of two streams:

  • Research and policy
  • Practice and technology

Submissions close 17 March 2017. Find out more about submitting an abstract at our website.

The conference will feature influential speakers from across government, academia and industry. Confirmed speakers include:

  • Dr Tobias Feakin, Australian Ambassador for Cyber Affairs
  • Dr Hugh Bradlow, Chief Scientist at Telstra
  • Dr Jonathan Clough, Faculty of Law, Monash University
  • Prof Roger Bradbury, National Security College

Early bird registrations are now open. Get your ticket at www.icccf2017.com.au

Neurotechnologies of justice: Neuroscience beyond the courtroom
Date:Tuesday, March 7, 4 - 5:30 p.m.
Location: Macquarie University Campus, Sydney NSW

In this talk, Professor Nikolas Rose of Kings College London will explore the actual and potential impacts of developments in neuroscience and neurotechnology in the criminal justice system beyond the courtroom. There has been much discussion about the role of genetics and brain scanning in criminal trials and their impact on the legal fiction of free will, although evidence that genetic or brain based defences succeed in exculpation is equivocal. In this talk, Professor Rose will focus elsewhere, and explore the impact of claims to be able to ‘read the brain’ in neural lie detection and beyond, the potential uses of novel neurotechnologies for risk assessment, pre-emptive intervention, and their role in ‘law enforcement’ and ‘crowd control’, and some questions arising from machine learning and artificial intelligence. The challenges posed by the ‘dual use’ potential of some advances in neuroscience, where technologies intended for civilian purposes also have military and security uses, are particularly significant at a time when the boundaries between the criminal justice and the wider security system are increasingly blurred.

For more information or to register, please contact neurolaw@mq.edu.au.

Redfern Legal Centre - 40th Anniversary Celebration and Fundraiser
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Recent Publications
Trajectories in online child sexual exploitation offending in Australia

By Tony Krone and Russell G Smith

This exploratory study examines data relating to a sample of offenders convicted of online child sexual exploitation offences under Australian Commonwealth law, to determine how online forms of child sexual exploitation and offline child sexual exploitation, or contact offending, are related. The majority of offenders in this study appeared to commit only online offences, although in a minority of cases there was a connection between exploitative material, grooming and contact offending.

This study is an important early step in improving our understanding of offenders and points to the need for further assessment of the nature of online child sexual exploitation and its relationship to other forms of sexual and violent offences.

The article can be found online here.

Making the abject: problem-solving courts, addiction, mental illness and impairment
By Claire Spivakovsky and Kate Seear

The advent of ‘problem-solving courts’ (e.g. drug courts, mental health courts) is claimed by some to represent a significant shift in the administration of justice. Problem-solving courts purport to address the underlying social, medical and/or psychological issues that are often understood as driving certain populations’ contact with criminal justice systems. Although there is a large body of research examining the operation and efficacy of such courts, there is minimal critical research on how these courts have been conceptualized by governments as logical, suitable ‘solutions’ to both particular ‘problems’ in society and ‘problem populations’, and the various implications thereof.

In this paper, the researchers examine these issues through an adaptation of Australian post-structuralist theorist, Carol Bacchi’s theoretical framework. Bacchi argues that policy ‘problems’ do not precede policy interventions, but that ‘problems’ are instead constituted by and given meaning through implicit policy representations. This paper considers how two Australian problem-solving courts – Victoria’s Drug Court and the Assessment and Referral Court List for people with cognitive impairments or mental illness – have been conceptualized by Victoria’s Parliament to target their populations, the ‘problems’ they purport to address, and with what effects for targeted populations.

The article can be found online here.
Discussion Paper Examines ‘Swift, Certain and Fair’ Approaches to Family Violence
By the Sentencing Advisory Council of Victoria

‘Swift, certain and fair’ approaches are ways of managing offenders who are serving their sentence in the community. Swift, certain and fair approaches aim to increase an offender’s compliance with the conditions of their sentence (such as attending treatment or staying free of alcohol and drugs). The approaches are based on the idea that offenders are more likely to comply with the conditions of their sentence if they believe that breaches will be discovered quickly, and punished quickly, consistently and fairly.

Following a recommendation by the Royal Commission into Family Violence, the Council was asked in September 2016 to advise the Attorney-General on the desirability of implementing a ‘swift, certain and fair’ approach to sentencing family violence offenders, and how such an approach might be implemented in Victoria.

The new discussion paper forms the basis of the Council’s consultation and community engagement, and contains:

• a definition of what 'swift, certain and fair' approaches are;

• a summary of the available evidence about the effectiveness of 'swift, certain and fair' approaches;

• an outline of the current frameworks for managing family violence offenders in Victoria; and

• a discussion of possible options for implementing a 'swift, certain and fair' approach in Victoria.

The Council is seeking submissions and comments from stakeholders and the broader community on the issues raised in the discussion paper.

The deadline for submissions and comments is 31 March 2017.

To find the discussion paper and other factsheets, please visit the Council website. Comments can also be left through this online survey.
The impact of parental offending on offspring aggression in early childhood: a population-based record linkage study
By Stacy Tzoumakis, Kimberlie Dean, Melissa J. Green, Catherine Zheng,  Maina Kariuki, Felicity Harris, Vaughan J. Carr, Kristin R. Laurens

Purpose: To examine the impact of parental criminal offending, both paternal and maternal, on offspring aggression at age 5 years, while also considering key risk factors, including parental mental illness, child’s sex, and socio-economic disadvantage.

Methods: The sample comprised 69,116 children, with linked parental information, from the New South Wales Child Development Study, a population-based multi-agency, multi-generational record linkage study that combines information from a teacher-reported cross-sectional survey of early childhood development at age 5 years (the 2009 Australian Early Development Census; AEDC) with data obtained via administrative records from multiple sources (e.g., health, crime, education, welfare). Hierarchical logistic regression analyses were conducted to determine the effects of maternal and paternal criminal court appearances (frequency, and type of offending), and mental health service contacts, on offspring aggression measured in the AEDC.

Results: Having a parent with a history of offending was significantly associated with high levels of offspring aggression in early childhood. The strength of association was greatest when parents were involved in frequent (≥6 offences: adjusted odds ratio [aOR] range=1.55 to 1.73) and violent (aOR range=1.49 to 1.63) offending. Both maternal and paternal offending remained significant predictors of offspring aggression after accounting for parental mental illness, and associations were similar in magnitude for maternal and paternal offending histories.

Conclusions: Parental history of severe criminal offending increased the risk of high levels of aggression in offspring during early childhood, highlighting the need for intervention with families during this key developmental period.

The article can be found online here.
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Job Advertisements
Associate Professor in Criminology - University of New England - Armidale, NSW

• Continuing, full-time
• $ 133,123 to $ 146,545 per annum (Level D)
• Plus 17% employer superannuation. Salary packaging options are available.
• Relocation assistance provided

Applications are invited for the position of Associate Professor in Criminology. The appointee will join an enthusiastic and innovative team who specialise in areas of rural crime, forensic criminology, policing, penology, international crime, social justice, and crime and tourism. The incumbent will be responsible for the ongoing development, teaching and coordination of units within the Bachelor of Criminology degree program, provide honours and higher degree by research (HDR) supervision, and take on leadership and various administrative/service roles within the discipline and the wider university. The appointee will also be expected to undertake research in Criminology, supported where possible by external funds, and publish in high quality, peer-reviewed journals.

To discuss this role please contact Dr Jenny Wise, Senior Lecturer in Criminology: phone 02 6773 4286 or email jwise7@une.edu.au. Applications close on 26 February 2017.

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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.
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