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 Dr David Biles

Dr David Biles, OAM, who made a highly significant contribution to criminology in Australia, unfortunately passed away on Easter Sunday after a short illness.

Among his many achievements, he was a well-known senior academic in the Criminology Department at University Melbourne before joining the Australian Institute of Criminology, where he was the head of Research and Deputy Director for many years. David was also influential with the Australian and New Zealand Society of Criminology; he was the foundation secretary of the Society and the president of the Society in the early 1980s, and was awarded with the society’s Distinguished Criminologist award in 2014.

During his time at the Institute, David wrote and published extensively on a range of subjects, but most notably on corrections – particularly prison. He was also seconded to the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody as Head of Research, which clearly influences work through Australia’s National Deaths in Custody Program, to this day.

Further information on David's career, and a list of his recent articles, can be found here.

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Upcoming Events
Not Just 'Revenge Porn': How Image-based Abuse is Harming Australians

Date: 12 May, 2017
Location: RMIT City Campus, Melbourne

In this public lecture, Drs Nicola Henry, Anastasia Powell and Asher Flynn present world-first research on the nature, prevalence and impacts of image-based abuse.

'Revenge porn' is a media-generated term referring to the distribution of nude, sexual or sexually explicit images without the depicted person’s consent, often via social media or mobile phone. Yet the term itself is misleading. Not all perpetrators are motivated by revenge, and not all images can be described as pornography. Also, while the term suggests that the harms lie in the distribution of the image, in fact creating or taking images without consent, or threatening to distribute them, can also be tools of harassment and abuse. The main presentation will be followed by the launch of Sexual Violence in a Digital Age

More information and registrations can be found online.

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
Sentencing Spotlights on murder and manslaughter in Queensland

By the Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council

Two new publications from the Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council summarise sentencing outcomes for the offences of murder and manslaughter over the past decade.

The Sentencing Spotlights on murder and manslaughter reveal:

  • All 189 murderers charged as an adult in Queensland over the last 11 years have been given life sentences.
  • Offenders charged with manslaughter averaged eight years in prison—but all 224 offenders received a custodial penalty.
  • For both murder and manslaughter, the majority of offenders were known to the victim in some way—mostly a non-family member such as a friend, neighbour or work colleague, followed by an intimate or former partner.

The publications can be found online here.
Changing age profile of NSW offenders

By Efty Stavrou, BOCSAR

Aim: To report on the age profile of the NSW offender population with particular attention given to older offenders. 

Method: This is a descriptive study utilising criminal court data from BOCSAR’s Reoffending Database and inmate census data from Corrective Services NSW. 

Results: Older offenders increasingly contributed to the NSW offender population and those sentenced to custody at finalisation. The largest increases in the proportion of older offenders were for drug, other traffic offences, PCA / DUI and violent offences.

Conclusion: The ageing population cannot be given as the main reason for the increase in older offenders and inmates in NSW. Future research should focus on the reasons for older people offending. Corrective services should prepare infrastructure for the estimated increase in the older inmate population which adequately services the physical and psychosocial needs of older people.

This publication can be found online here.

Deconstructing Criminology’s Origin Stories

By Kerry Carrington and Russell Hogg

The global production of knowledge is grossly skewed to the northern Anglophone world (Hogg et al. in International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy, 6(1), 1–7, 2017; Connell 2007). It should be no surprise therefore that criminology’s origin stories are derivative of northern experiences, yet generalised as universal theories of crime causation. In this article, we argue that the origin stories of criminological theory translated the ‘darker’, 'hairier’ and ‘muscular’ masculinities of the global south into prototypes of dangerousness.

These prototypes were first articulated as scientific claims in the nineteenth century works of Lombroso, but have been refined and embedded in mainstream criminological discourses well into the present, mainly through the quantitative study of social disorganisation, ‘race’ and racialised masculinities as variables in crime causation.

The paper concedes that while deeply troubling expressions of violent masculinity exist now and in the past in the global south, it is mistaken to conceive this violence simply as expressions of atavism or social disorganisation associated with a less civilised world. On the contrary, this paper argues that the violence of colonality itself has had, and continues to have, a criminogenic impact on the present.

The article is available online here.

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Worth a Watch
SBS Insight - Breaking Free
From the high ranks of bikie gangs to serious drug felonies on the streets of Cabramatta, how do you turn your life around when violence and crime are the norm? Do circumstances dictate our path in life or can effort and freewill change it?

Physically abused as a child, Brent was 12 years old when he ended up living on the streets and getting involved with crime. As the seriousness of his crimes escalated, he joined a bikie gang, finding comfort in its camaraderie. While spending time in a maximum security prison, a warning from his son would make him take a hard look at his life.

Born in Australia to refugee parents who didn’t speak any English, Tony had trouble communicating with them and lacked direction in life. At 14 and already a member of a drug gang, Tony was hooked on heroin, selling drugs and had a number of offences on his record. It would take him a near death experience to lead him to his faith and ultimately, help him turn his life around.

Zak was very young when his father, El Sayyid Nosair,  was sent to prison for his involvement in the assassination of Meir Kahane, an ultra-Orthodox Rabbi who had founded Jewish Defence League. Three years later, Zak was shaken to his core when he found out his father also helped plot the 1993 World Trade Centre bombing from his prison cell. Zak had to reassess his belief system passed on from his father and make a conscious effort to change his worldview. Today he speaks out as someone raised by an extremist but who chose the path of nonviolence. 

In this episode, Insight hears compelling stories of people who have broken free from a cycle of disadvantage, violence, crime. The episode can be viewed online here.
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Job Advertisements
Casual Research Assistant
NSW Juvenile Justice and Monash University are examining the impact of a training and staff supervision model on detention centre staff and young people. 

They are seeking a casual research assistant to assist with recruiting and interviewing young people and staff across NSW juvenile justice detention centres. It is likely to be around 10-20 hours per week over the next 4-6 months. The hours can be flexible depending on the needs of the Research Assistant and the schedules of the detentions centres. 

We are seeking someone with very good interpersonal skills and interviewing skills. The position could suit a post graduate student with an interest in criminal justice.

If interested please send a brief CV to:

Professor Chris Trotter
Director Monash Criminal Justice Research Consortium
Social Work Department

Applications close on Friday 28th April 2017
Primary Prevention Advisor - Royal Women's Hospital, Melbourne

CASA House is a department of the Royal Women's Hospital and is committed to ensuring the silence which surrounds sexual assault continues to be broken and the victim/survivors are provided with necessary support. CASA House is seeking a skilled prevention specialist to join the organisation as the Primary Prevention Advisor. The successful applicant will join a committed team to provide 24-hour crisis care, ongoing counselling, support and advocacy for victim/survivors of sexual assault.

Your duties would be: 

- To coordinate and develop primary prevention initiatives at CASA House, including respectful relationships education

- To create and maintain partnerships with a range of key external agencies and stakeholders to promote CASA House prevention activities and messages

- To undertake primary prevention initiatives in line with the RWH strategic plan that enable CASA House to contribute to research and practice in the field of violence prevention

Applications close on the 4th of May 2017. For more information and to apply, please follow the link.

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