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CRC funded reports

1999-2000

The Council received reports from 7 completed research projects during the year 1999-2000. 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. Aboriginal youth suicide: towards a model of explanation and alleviation
  2. The effectiveness of legal protection in prevention of domestic violence in the lives of young Australian women
  3. Misconduct decriminalised: are the civil sanctions in the corporations law effective?
  4. Young women in the juvenile justice system
  5. An examination of the illegal art market in Australia
  6. A survey of Aboriginal community attitudes to domestic violence
  7. The characteristics of child molesters and child molesting in Queensland

Aboriginal youth suicide: towards a model of explanation and alleviation

Report title: Aboriginal Suicide is Different
Grantees: Professor Colin Tatz, Macquarie University
Criminology Research Council grant ; (25/96-7)

A model has been developed that may help explain and alleviate Aboriginal youth suicide in NSW and the ACT. Fieldwork was undertaken in fifty-five locations, and for comparison research into and strategies for alleviation of Maori youth suicide was also examined. Over 388 interviews were conducted with Aborigines and Maori, non-Indigenous personnel working with communities, police, coroners, psychiatrists and mental-health and youth workers in both countries.

The report presents strategies for alleviation that embrace an educational focus on historical, legal, political, social and cultural factors which impinge on Aboriginal and Maori youth suicide.

The effectiveness of legal protection in prevention of domestic violence in the lives of young Australian women

Report title: The effectiveness of legal protection in prevention of domestic violence in the lives of young Australian women (PDF 2.7MB)
Grantees: Professor Annette Dobson, Dr Julie Byles and Ms Margrette Young, University of Newcastle
Criminology Research Council grant ; (30/96-7)

This report describes a large national study of young women who experienced physical violence by a partner. It looks in particular at the effectiveness of legal protection in preventing repeated violence. It compares the outcomes for women who obtained legal protection from the police or courts with outcomes for women without legal protection. It is an observational study of the "natural history" of partner violence against young women in the community.

Misconduct decriminalised: are the civil sanctions in the corporations law effective?

Report title: Regulating directors' duties - how effective are the civil penalty sanctions in the Australian corporations Law? (PDF 5.3MB)
Grantees: Professor Ian Ramsay and Ms Helen Bird, University of Melbourne
Criminology Research Council grant ; (16/97-8)

The Australian Federal Parliament introduced civil penalties into company law in 1993, with the expectation that there would be more effective enforcement of directors' duties. However, in the six years since civil penalties were introduced, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has commenced only fourteen civil penalty actions. The research undertaken by the authors reveals that civil penalties are perceived by ASIC as serving only a limited deterrent function. The factors that have caused this include ASIC's resource constraints, including financial and resource constraints; its relationships with other regulatory agencies; its recourse to alternative sanctions; and its concerns about the limited utility of civil penalties and the unclear nature of the civil penalty regime and its regulatory praxis.

Young women in the juvenile justice system

Report titles:Young Women in the Juvenile Justice System (PDF 2.2MB); Not worse, just different?: Working With Young Women in the Juvenile Justice System (PDF 3.5MB)
Grantees: Dr Christine Alder and Ms Nichole Hunter, University of Melbourne
Criminology Research Council grant ; (17/97-8)

The research project had two objectives: to investigate the nature of young women's offending; and to examine young women's accounts of their experiences of the juvenile justice system. Two reports were produced, one for each of these objectives. Data analysed in the project came from two sources: Victorian Children's Court Statistics (1990-96) and interviews with forty-eight young women in the juvenile justice system in Victoria and South Australia. It is hoped that this information will assist in the development of policy and practice to meet the needs of young women in the juvenile justice system.

An examination of the illegal art market in Australia

Report title: An Exploration of the Illegal Art Market of Australia (PDF 2.3MB)
Grantees: Associate Professor Ken Polk, University of Melbourne
Criminology Research Council grant ; (8/98-9)

The report represents a first exploration of the place of illegality in the art market of Australia. It draws upon qualitative data, including interviews and field observations involving over 300 respondents (dealers, museum personnel, police, insurance representatives and others) to examine the general size and dimensions of theft and fraud in the art world. The report observes that both theft and fakery are persistent problems in the art market of Australia. The nature of the market tends to restrict somewhat the level of art theft, but issues of fakes and frauds tend to present major problems for those involved in the art trade. The Aboriginal art market poses its own particular issues, especially since there tends to be persistent issues of authorship and authenticity raised. A number of issues regarding prevention, including the importance of developing an art-theft register for Australia, are being considered.

A survey of Aboriginal community attitudes to domestic violence

Report title: "Yes, but I never hit her in the face": A Survey of Attitudes to Domestic Violence in Cape York Aboriginal Communities (PDF 3.9MB)
Grantees: Dr Geoffrey Genever, Apunipima Cape York Health Council, Queensland
Criminology Research Council grant ; (42/98-9)

The project is an examination of attitudes towards the phenomenon of violence. It looks particularly, although not exclusively, at domestic violence or family violence among Indigenous people. It is based on the responses to a set of questions posed to representative groups of Aboriginal people, most of whom live in communities on Queensland's Cape York Peninsula. While the survey concentrated on attitudes towards domestic violence, the project was not restricted to violence within the family setting because of the belief that domestic violence in Aboriginal communities cannot be properly understood if it is viewed in isolation from other forms of violence.

The characteristics of child molesters and child molesting in Queensland

Report title: Child Sexual Abuse in Queensland: Offender Characteristics and Modus Operandi (PDF 7.1MB)
Grantees: Stephen Smallbone, Dr Richard Wortley and Professor Ross Homel, Griffith University
Criminology Research Council grant ; (51/98-9)

This project was jointly funded by the CRC and Queensland Crime Commission. This study utilised official demographic and offence history data and confidential self-report data to examine the characteristics and modus operandi of men currently serving sentences in Queensland for sexual offences against children. Official data were gathered on 323 offenders, and 182 (56.6 per cent) of these provided extensive self-report data. Findings suggested that, in the main, child sexual offenders: are generalist, rather than specialist offenders; known to their victim and to their victims' parents; rarely use overt violence to obtain sexual contact with their victims; and rely on emotional connections with children to avoid detection. The authors argue that existing public policy responses to child sexual abuse rely almost exclusively on tertiary prevention strategies, and that reductions in the incidence of child sexual abuse may be better achieved through primary (for example, situational) and secondary (for example, developmental) prevention programs.

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