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CRC funded reports

2015/16

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 53/11-12: Sexting and young people: Perceptions, practices, policy and law
  2. Grant 31/12-13: Prosecuting workplace violence: the utility and policy implications of criminalisation
  3. Grant 33/12-13: Welfare and recidivism outcomes of in-prison education and training

Grant 53/11-12: Sexting and young people: Perceptions, practices, policy and law

Murray Lee, Thomas Crofts, Alyce McGovern, Sanja Milivojevic
Criminology Research Grant: CRG 53/11-12

This Report presents the results of a two-year multi-methods Criminology Research Grant-funded project that focuses on the prevalence, contexts, motivations, and regulation of sexting in by young people. This includes a large online survey of young people about their practices and perceptions, focus group interviews, a media analysis, and an extensive legal analysis. Young people have integrated online and digital technology into their personal relationships and sexual development and this has become a significant issue for policy makers. News media in Australia, North America and other Western countries have reported with concern on cases of ‘sexting’ where minors have used mobile phone digital cameras to manufacture and distribute sexual images of themselves and/or others, in some cases falling foul of child abuse material or child pornography laws. This report suggests while 50% of young people surveyed reported sending a sexual image or video, the vast majority of those who have sent such images do not do so often. They also tend to exchange images with a single partner. It also finds that while young people judge others who ‘sext’ negatively, those that have sent a sext tend to judge their own behaviour positively. Moreover, contrary to popular belief, most shared images do not get sent on to third parties. The report also highlights the gendered double standards inherent in such activities. In concluding, the report draws attention to the disconnect between young people’s motivations for sexting and the child pornography and child abuse laws that can be used to regulate the behaviour suggesting the need to significant law reform in jurisdictions where such laws can be applied. It also suggests that given the motivations and experiences of sexting by young people, prevention and safety campaigns to minimise the risks involved need to address the reality of these experiences.

Grant 31/12-13: Prosecuting workplace violence: the utility and policy implications of criminalisation

Emily Schindeler, Janet Ransley
Criminology Research Grant: CRG 31/12-13

Every employer is responsible for ensuring as far as reasonable the health and safety of those in the workplace.  However self-regulation is intended to be balanced by the regulators’ ability to apply punitive sanctions when significant breaches of this responsibility occur. The findings of this research suggest that regulators have consistently avoided applying sanctions for psychological injury even when its causes have been verified in the balance of probabilities. As a consequence employers have largely escaped liability for harms associated with psychological injury arising from inter personal, management or systemic mistreatment.   This suggests that there is a need for significantly better evidence of the extent to which the softer approach by regulators reduces risk, improves quality of responses by employers and acts as an effective deterrent. In the absence of such evidence, it will remain questionable whether existing policies and practices are capable of reducing the incidence of such injuries, the harm that is done, and the capacity for restorative justice. 

Grant 33/12-13: Welfare and recidivism outcomes of in-prison education and training

Margaret Giles, Jacqui Whale
Criminology Research Grant: CRG 33/12-13

Using the WA prisoner education and welfare dataset, the research found that prisoners who have up-skilled are less likely to recidivate (in terms of increased offence seriousness) and an increased number of successful classes will also reduce recidivism. In addition, ex-prisoners who are best able to remain in the community for longer have studied and successfully completed all their classes.
In-prison study also affects welfare dependence, in particular, receipt of unemployment benefits or student allowances. That is, the more classes that were successfully completed or involved up-skilling, the shorter time the ex-prisoners spent on welfare in the immediate post-release period.

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