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CRC funded reports

2014/15

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. Grant 23/12-13: Parole Supervision and Re-offending: A propensity score matching analysis
  2. Grant 09/11-12: Understanding the extent, nature and causes of adult-onset offending: Implications for the effective and efficient use of criminal justice and crime reduction resources
  3. Grant 20/10-11: Determining the impact of opioid substitution therapy upon mortality and recidivism among prisoners: A 22 year data linkage study
  4. Grant 38/08-09: 'Sudanese refugees' experiences with the QLD criminal justice system
  5. Grant 30/11-12: Preventing the onset of youth offending: the impact of the pathways to prevention project on developmental pathways through the primary years
  6. Grant 50/10-11: Classifying domestic violence perpetrators: Identifying opportunities for intervention and prevention

Grant 23/12-13: Parole Supervision and Re-offending: A propensity score matching analysis

Wai-Yin Wan, Suzanne Poynton, Gerard van Doorn, Don Weatherburn

Criminology Research Grant: CRG 23/12-13

The main aims of the current study were to determine (a) whether offender unconditional release increases the risk, speed or seriousness of further offending compared with conditional release (i.e. parole) and (b) whether more frequent supervision reduces the risk, speed and seriousness of re-offending, compared with more frequent supervision. The results revealed that offenders who received parole supervision took longer to commit a new offence, were less likely to commit a new indictable offence and committed fewer offences than offenders who were released unconditionally. The answer to the second question is that parolees with a higher than average number of supervision contacts take longer to commit any new offence and record fewer offences within 36 months of being released. This effect, however, is only present for offenders receiving rehabilitative support as well as more intense supervision.

Grant 09/11-12: Understanding the extent, nature and causes of adult-onset offending: Implications for the effective and efficient use of criminal justice and crime reduction resources

Carleen M. Thompson, Anna L. Stewart, Troy J. Allard, April Chrzanowski, Chelsea Luker, Jerneja Sveticic
Criminology Research Grant: CRG 09/11-12

This research examined the extent and nature of adult-onset offending and investigated whether adult cautioning could be a viable and cost-effective alternative to current court processing. Adult-onset offending was examined in a Queensland population-based offender cohort (1983–84 Queensland Longitudinal Cohort; n=40,523). The research generated three key findings. First, adult-onset offenders were prevalent, constituting half of all offenders in the cohort. Second, the vast majority of adult-onset offenders were low-rate, less serious offenders. Third, cautioning first-time, low-rate, less serious adult-onset offenders in this cohort would have saved $32.5m in police and court costs. This represents a 23.4 percent cost reduction in processing this group through the criminal justice system and a 4.3 percent reduction in the cost of processing all members of the cohort through the criminal justice system. However, these figures only represent the reduced costs associated with diverting less serious, first-time offences by low-rate adult onset offenders in this single cohort. The cost savings would be substantially more if considered on a cross-sectional basis.

Grant 20/10-11: Determining the impact of opioid substitution therapy upon mortality and recidivism among prisoners: A 22 year data linkage study

Natasa Gisev, Sarah Larney, Jo Kimber, Lucy Burns, Don Weatherburn, Amy Gibson, Tim Dobbins, Richard Mattick, Tony Butler, Louisa Degenhardt

Criminology Research Grant: CRG 20/10-11

Prisoners experience very high rates of drug dependence, health problems and premature mortality. Without intervention they are highly likely to come into further contact with the criminal justice system, creating further health risk. Opioid dependence is a common problem among prisoners, and opioid substitution therapy (OST - methadone and buprenorphine) for opioid dependence may be an effective intervention in preventing morbidity, mortality and offending. Using retrospective data linkage, this study evaluated engagement with treatment, patterns of offending, incarceration and mortality among opioid-dependent people who received OST in New South Wales, Australia, at some time between 1985-2010. OST records were linked with data on all court appearances 1993-2011, custody episodes 2000-2012, and mortality 1985-2012. Our findings suggest that a minority of opioid-dependent people account for the majority of the criminal justice contact, in terms of both criminal charges and incarcerations. The custody setting also appeared to be an important opportunity to engage people in OST treatment. Furthermore, OST treatment, in prison and also immediately post-release, was found to be highly protective against mortality both while incarcerated and after release. Given these findings, and the other important benefits of OST, there is strong evidence to support the value of OST programs within the criminal justice system.

Grant 38/08-09: 'Sudanese refugees' experiences with the QLD criminal justice system

Garry Coventry, Glenn Dawes, Stephen Moston, Farren Palmer

Criminology Research Grant: CRG 38/08-09

This report represents the outcomes of an 18 month study of Sudanese Australians’ interactions with the criminal justice system in Queensland. The study was conducted across three sites; Townsville, Brisbane, and Toowoomba. The research was structured to address six major aims which focused on the experiences of Sudanese Australians particularly in relation to their interactions with the Queensland Police Service (QPS). This study used a multi-methodological approach and focused on four key approaches to obtain data in order to address the aims: 1) A critical analysis of Australian print media was conducted to ascertain how Sudanese Australians are constructed and how these representations influence community attitudes and government policies; 2) Queensland police were interviewed to gain their perceptions about interactions with Sudanese Australians; 3) Attempts were made to examine quantitative data from police databases to ascertain the extent to which Sudanese are represented in the criminal justice system in terms of whether they were perpetrators or the victims of crime; 4) Finally the voices of Sudanese Australians were harnessed through focus group interviews and surveys from a representative sample of young people, elders and women across the three research sites.

Grant 30/11-12: Preventing the onset of youth offending: the impact of the pathways to prevention project on developmental pathways through the primary years

Ross Homel, Kate Freiberg, Sara Branch, Huong Le

Criminology Research Grant: CRG 30/11-12

This report presents some new findings from the Pathways to Prevention Project, utilising detailed data from a sample of 123 matched pairs of Grade 7 or 8 children, half of whom participated (via their families) in Pathways support activities, and half of whom did not. The focus is whether the holistic form of family support delivered in the Pathways Project, which is similar in many respects to services regularly delivered in communities across Australia, can improve the wellbeing and behaviour of children in the primary schools years (ages 5 to 12), and at the transition to high school, reducing the likelihood of involvement in youth offending.

Grant 50/10-11: Classifying domestic violence perpetrators: Identifying opportunities for intervention and prevention

Hayley Boxall, Jason Payne, Lisa Rosevear
Criminology Research Grant 50/10-11

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