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CRC funded reports

2018/19

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. CRG 30/13-14: A comparison of individual, situational and ecological factors associated with adolescence-onset and adult-onset sexual offences against children
  2. CRG 13/14-15: Understanding delinquency during the teenage years: Developmental pathways of antisocial decision making among disadvantaged youth
  3. CRG 35/14-15: Developing Diversionary Pathways for Indigenous Youth with Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD): A Three Community Study in Western Australia
  4. CRG 06/15-16: Reducing crime and incarceration rates in Aboriginal communities: What impact does the ‘Yes I Can’ Adult literacy program have on crime and incarceration rates in NSW Aboriginal communities?
  5. CRG 52/14-15: Filicide in Australia, 2000-2012 A National Report

CRG 30/13-14: A comparison of individual, situational and ecological factors associated with adolescence-onset and adult-onset sexual offences against childrens

Nadine McKillop, Susan Rayment-McHugh, Stephen Smallbone, Zoe Bromham
Criminology Research Grant: CRG 30/13-14

There are important gaps in knowledge regarding factors contributing to the onset of child sexual abuse at different stages of the lifespan. The present study aimed to identify common and unique developmental, ecological and situational risk factors associated with the onset of sexual offending in adolescence and adulthood to determine what responses are required to effectively prevent its occurrence. The findings of this study reinforce that adolescents and adults, for the most part, are two distinct groups who may be motivated to sexually abuse for different reasons, and that their offending is influenced by different opportunity structures, constraints and experiences that characterise these life-stages. Findings reinforce the need for prevention efforts to be tailored across the lifespan. Emphasis should be placed on primary and secondary prevention efforts that are currently less developed in Australia, compared to tertiary responses.

CRG 13/14-15:Understanding delinquency during the teenage years: Developmental pathways of antisocial decision making among disadvantaged youth

Kathryn L. Modecki, Bep Uink
Criminology Research Grant: CRG 13/14-15

This project explored changes in adolescents’ delinquency across the high school years, and key developmental features that might condition youths’ involvement. Namely, in an effort to inform treatment and prevention, we focused on the (potentially modifiable) roles of perceived rewards of antisocial behaviour, self-control, and emotions in driving delinquency, over years and over days. To do so, we leveraged two rich data sets with a focus on socio-economically disadvantaged Australian youth. Project findings pointed to a robust association between high reward sensitivity and high levels of delinquency. Moreover, findings suggested that up-ticks in delinquency over the high-school years led to subsequent increases in reward perceptions. Yet these relations differed based on youths’ self-control. Low self-control coupled with high perceived antisocial rewards characterized youth at-risk for very high delinquency involvement. In addition to antisocial rewards, findings highlighted emotional inflexibility as a risk factor. Youth with a strong reward bias engaged in antisocial behaviour, regardless of their emotions; whereas youth with low reward bias were “swayed against” antisocial choices when especially worried. They were also more likely to engage in antisocial behaviour when particularly bored. Notably, we explored findings with an advisory panel of law enforcement personnel, who assisted with practical interpretations of results.

CRG 35/14-15: Developing Diversionary Pathways for Indigenous Youth with Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD): A Three Community Study in Western Australia

Harry Blagg, Tamara Tulich
Criminology Research Grant: CRG 35/14-15

This research examined justice interventions for Aboriginal young people suspected of having Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) and related disorders. It responded to the specific concerns of Aboriginal community members and justice professionals in the West Kimberley that increasing numbers of Aboriginal youth were displaying symptoms of FASD and becoming enmeshed in the criminal justice system. This study explored and mapped out diversionary alternatives and law reform options that will equip courts and multi-agency teams, partnered with Aboriginal community-owned and managed services, to construct alternative pathways into treatment and support. The research was undertaken in three locations in remote Western Australia: Broome, Derby and Fitzroy Crossing.

CRG 06/15-16: Reducing crime and incarceration rates in Aboriginal communities: What impact does the ‘Yes I Can’ Adult literacy program have on crime and incarceration rates in NSW Aboriginal communities?

Jenny Wise, Ray Nickson, Bridget Harris, Bob Boughton, Jack Beetson

Criminology Research Grant: CRG 06/15-16

This research examined the impact of the ‘Yes, I Can!’ adult literacy campaign as a place-based justice reinvestment initiative, using both qualitative and quantitative approaches. Interviews conducted with 22 key informants working as service providers or criminal justice system employees within (or previously located in) Bourke and Enngonia indicated that the ‘Yes, I Can!’ campaign improved the experiences and interactions of participating community members with the criminal justice system in at least three ways. It helped to alleviate illegal driving practices; it reduced contacts with the law for failure to respond to official documentation; and it improved their interactions with law enforcement officials. There were also significant benefits in terms of increased confidence to access legal advice and other services. However, the analysis of the quantitative BOCSAR data did not reveal conclusive links between the ‘Yes, I Can!’ program and reduced criminal justice system encounters in either community. To investigate this further, a longitudinal study with participants over several years is recommended.

CRG 52/14-15: Filicide in Australia, 2000-2012 A National Report

Thea Brown, Samantha Lyneham, Willow Bryant, Samantha Bricknell, Adam Tomison, Danielle Tyson, Paula Fernandez Arias

Criminology Research Grant CRG: 52/14-15

‘Filicide in Australia, 2000-2012: A National Study‘, is the first to examine filicide nationally over time, and it shows that filicide rates are not declining but were stable in the 12-year period under study. In that period some 284 victims were killed by a parent or parent equivalent, such as a step-parent, and 274 victims were children under 18. While the youngest children (under 4) are the most vulnerable, children remain victims throughout their school life and afterwards, with the oldest victim being 33 years. Most children had not ever been known to child protection. Rates varied from state to state with Victoria having the lowest incidence per capita and Queensland the highest The major categories of perpetrators were mothers, fathers, mothers and fathers acting together, step-fathers and step-fathers and mothers acting together. Step-fathers were disproportionately represented. A constellation of factors was found to be associated with perpetrators: domestic violence previously inflicted or suffered by the perpetrator, mental illness, substance abuse, partnership separation, history of child abuse and a newly identified factor, criminal history, often for violence.

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