12/4/17
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Sydney Institute of Criminology
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Northern Territory Royal Commission releases Interim Report

The Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory recently delivered an Interim Report to the Commonwealth and Northern Territory Governments on 31 March 2017.

The Royal Commission has been established to enable the swift inquiry into the treatment of children detained in detention facilities and child protection in the Northern Territory. The purpose of the Royal Commission is to uncover where the systems have failed and make recommendations on how to improve laws, policies and practices in the Northern Territory to provide a safer future for children.

The report, which can be found here, outlines the need for the Royal Commission, background information regarding youth detention in the Northern Territory, the information gathering processes of the Royal Commission, and key observations thus far. These observations included the troubling relationship between child protection and youth custody, the failure of punitive measures to reduce youth crime in disadvantaged communities, the impact of geography on youth offending, the need for greater community involvement in decision-making, the over-representation of ATSI youth in custody, the rates of physical and mental illness among youth in custody, and the prevalence of alcohol and other drug issues. The report also discussed aspects of detention, such as diversionary practices, the quality of facilities, cultural awareness, bail conditions and recidivism.

Dr Thalia Anthony, Associate Professor in Law at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), noted that the report lacked recommendations and input from young people themselves. Her analysis of the report can be found here.

To learn more about the Royal Commission, to submit information or to watch hearings live online, please visit the official website.

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Upcoming Events
Crime and Justice in Asia and the Global South: An International Conference

Date:10-13 July 2017
Location: Cairns, QLD

In July 2017, the Crime and Justice Research Centre will co-host its
biennial Crime, Justice and Social Democracy conference with the Asian
Criminological Society’s Annual Meeting. The purpose of co-hosting the two conferences is to promote a global criminology more befitting of the
contemporary world in which we live.

Scholarships for postgraduate students to attend and present at the conference are also available. For more information, please visit the conference website.

5th International Conference on Cybercrime and Computer Forensics
Date: 16-18 July 2017
Location: Sofitel Gold Coast, QLD

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 internationally. Register now!

The conference will feature influential speakers from across government, academia and industry. Confirmed speakers include:
  • Dr Tobias Feakin, Australian Ambassador for Cyber Affairs
  • Professor Hugh Bradlow, Chief Scientist at Telstra
  • Professor Jonathan Clough, Monash University
  • Professor Monica Whitty, University of Warwick
  • Professor Janet Chan, University of NSW
  • Professor David Wall, University of Leeds
  • Professor Roger Bradbury, National Security College

Find out more about the conference at the event website.
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Recent Publications
Youth justice in Australia 2015-16
By the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

This bulletin examines the numbers and rates of young people who were under youth justice supervision in Australia during 2015–16 because of their involvement or alleged involvement in crime. It explores key aspects of their supervision, both in the community and in detention, as well as recent trends.

There were about 5,500 young people (aged 10 and older) under youth justice supervision in Australia on an average day in 2015–16, due to their involvement, or alleged involvement, in crime. This number has decreased by 21% over the 5 years to 2015–16. Around 4 in 5 (82%) young people under supervision on an average day were male. Most (84%) young people were supervised in the community and the remainder were in detention. Indigenous young people continued to be
over-represented in the youth justice system: young Indigenous people were 17 times as likely as non-Indigenous young people to be under supervision on an average day.

The report can be read online here.
Speech-language pathology intervention in a youth justice setting: Benefits perceived by staff extend beyond communication

By P.C. Snow, K. Bagley, D. & White

Purpose: Young people in youth justice (YJ) settings face high-risk for unidentified language disorder, however, speech- language pathology (SLP) services are not routinely offered in such settings. The aim of this study was to explore and describe the perceptions and experiences of YJ staff in a custodial centre of the utility of having a speech-language pathologist working with young offenders.

Method: Following a SLP intervention trial, two staff focus groups were conducted by an independent SLP. Interview probes were developed through review of the literature and consultation with the practitioner who conducted the clinical intervention. Focus groups were digitally recorded for thematic analysis, which was carried out by the three authors independently.

Result: YJ staff expressed consistently positive views about the SLP intervention trial in their centre. Staff indicated that they learnt a great deal about the complexity of communication difficulties in this population, and that this information informed and guided their own practices. They expressed surprise at the engagement of young people in the SLP service, and supported its embedding in the YJ setting.

Conclusion: YJ staff endorsed the value of a SLP service in a custodial setting. Further research should focus on refining measurement of this service and its impact. 

The article can be found online here.

Labour exploitation in the Australian construction industry: risks and protections for temporary migrant workers
By B. Hedwards, H. Andrevski, & S. Bricknell
Australian Institute of Criminology

There have been a number of alleged cases of labour exploitation involving temporary migrant workers in Australia since the late 1990s. The Australian construction industry was identified as particularly problematic, with allegations of deception in relation to work contracts, lack of compliance with employment standards, limited autonomy and threats of abuse levelled. In response to these concerns, the Sisters of Saint Joseph of the Sacred Heart Josephite Counter - Trafficking Project and the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney commissioned the Australian Institute of Criminology to undertake research on labour exploitation in the Australian construction industry, with a particular focus on temporary migrant workers.

The article can be found online here.
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Calls for Submissions
Victorian Postgraduate Criminology Conference

Following the success of its inaugural launch at the University of Melbourne in 2016, the second annual Victorian Postgraduate Criminology Conference (VPCC) will be held on the 7th of July 2017 at Deakin University's Downtown Campus in Melbourne’s CBD.

The VPCC will feature student papers, a professional development panel, and a keynote address by Professor Rosemary Barberet (John Jay College of Criminal Justice).

The conference will be opened by Mr Rob Hulls, former Attorney-General of Victoria and current Director of the Centre for Innovative Justice at RMIT.

The conference is calling for papers from RHD and Honours students at all tertiary institutions in the fields of criminology, legal studies, and related disciplines. To learn more or to submit an abstract, or to learn more, please visit the event website.

Politics and Crime Control in the 21st Century: Controversies and Challenges
This one-day symposium will be hosted by the Crime and Governance thematic group, in conjunction with the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Newcastle (UoN). The symposium has received support from The Australian Sociological Association (TASA) to provide travel bursaries to postgraduates or casual and unwaged staff to attend the symposium.

The symposium will be held at the UoN Sydney campus (Elizabeth St, Sydney) on the 22nd September 2017.

The symposium encourages abstract submission from all areas of the diverse landscape of crime control including policing, sentencing and punishment, penal politics and philosophy, victim treatment, crime prevention, reintegration and private security.

Please send abstracts (with your name, university affiliation and title of paper) of 150-200 words to joel.mcgregor@uon.edu.au by 2nd June 2017 or via the event website.
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Job Advertisements
Professor of Criminology - Deakin University, Victoria
The School of Humanities and Social Sciences is seeking to recruit a Professor to join a team of established colleagues working in Criminology. The Professor will provide outstanding academic and research leadership in the area of Criminology and promote the School within relevant academic and professional communities in Australia and internationally.

This will include:
  • Initiating and contributing to School and Faculty teaching, research and program development and entrepreneurial activity in the area of Criminology.
  • Contributing to service activities locally and internationally particularly in relation to student recruitment and will champion the strategic directions of the School, the Faculty and the University.
  • Leadership of teams in teaching and/or research which enhance the achievement of Deakin's strategic goals in research, teaching, engagement and innovation.
Candidates will have:
  • PhD in a relevant discipline.
  • Original, innovative and distinguished contribution to scholarship and teaching, research and research supervision.
  • An eminent authority at the national and international level in research and scholarship through publication in high quality and impact outlets.
  • Success in obtaining competitive external research grants.

Applications close on 7th May 2017. For more information, please follow the link.

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