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CRC funded reports

1975-1976

The Council received reports from 5 completed research projects during the year 1975-76. Summaries of these reports are given below. These reports are held by the Australian Institute of Criminology's JV Barry Library and are available on inter-library loan. For full bibliographic information on any report, search the Library's Catalogue.

  1. Migrant crime in Australia
  2. The children's court hearing
  3. Evaluation of the Western Australian prison system
  4. Behavioural effects of three simulated prison environments
  5. Multi-problem families

Migrant crime in Australia

Report title: Migrants in Prison in Australia: A National Prison Survey with Particular Reference to Birthplace
Grantee: Mr R. Francis, Senior Lecturer in Psychology, La Trobe University, Victoria, and Mr A. Cassel, Research Assistant, School of Behavioural Sciences, Macquarie University, New South Wales
Criminology Research Council grant ; (21/73)

A report on this project under the title 'A National Prison Survey with Particular Reference to Birthplace' was received by the Council and a copy was forwarded to the Department of Immigration and Ethnic Affairs for comment. This report contained the results of a questionnaire to be completed by prisoners which was sent to all prisons in Australia on 30 June 1974. A response rate of 66 per cent was obtained and the results indicated that for nearly all overseas-born groups they were under- represented in the prison populations. The report also found that there were no significant differences in the proportion of native-born and overseas-born prisoners who had had legal representation, but for those born overseas bail had been fixed less frequently and the accused person had less frequently pleaded guilty. This report has been widely circulated and has been cited as a standard reference.

The children's court hearing

Report title: The Children's Court Hearing
Grantee: Mr D. Challinger, Lecturer in Criminology, University of Melbourne
Criminology Research Council grant ; (4/75)

A report on this project was received by the Council and copies have been circulated elsewhere. The report contained a detailed analysis of 286 cases which were observed in a Melbourne Children's Court. The overall impression gained by the observers was one of 'fairness, thoughtfulness and dedication on the part of the Magistrates'. It was pointed out however that in some cases there were unnecessary delays in juvenile cases coming to court and suggestions were made for overcoming these problems.

Evaluation of the Western Australian prison system

Report title: Book entitled: Imprisonment in Western Australia : evolution, theory and practice (1978)
Grantee: Dr J.E. Thomas, Senior Lecturer in Adult Education, University of Hull, England
Criminology Research Council grant ; (15/74)

With the assistance of a principal officer of the West Australian Department of Corrections, who had been released from normal duties for the project, Dr Thomas submitted a manuscript for publication. The title of the book was: Imprisonment in Western Australia : evolution, theory and practice / by J.E. Thomas and Alex Stewart. Nedlands, WA : University of Western Australia, 1978.

The work outlines the development of penal policy and practice in Western Australia from the days of convict settlement to the present time. The concluding two chapters are devoted to contemporary practice with regard to parole and institutional management.

Behavioural effects of three simulated prison environments

Report title: The Effects of Three Experimental Prison Environments on the Behaviour of Non-Convict Volunteer Subjects
Grantee: Professor S.H. Lovibond, Psychology Department, University of New South Wales
Criminology Research Council grant ; (8/75)

Council funds were used in this project to produce a 16mm colour film of 34 minutes duration of a controlled experiment on the effects of three simulated prison environments. The three regimes studied varied in terms of emphasis on security on the one hand, and the dignity and participation of prison subjects on the other. The experiment clearly demonstrated the greater effectiveness of the latter approach. It is expected that this film will be widely used, both in Australia and overseas, as an aid in the training of correctional staff.

Multi-problem families

Report title: The Tasmanian multiproblem family research (unpublished report)
Grantee: Dr E. Cunningham Dax, Coordinator in Community Health, Tasmania
Criminology Research Council grant ; (1/73)

Note: In addition to the report, two journal articles based on the research were produced.

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