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HomeReports → 2007-2008

CRC funded reports


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. The extent and impact of money laundering in and through Australia and the region in 2003
  2. Juvenile Diversion and Indigenous offenders
  3. A population based study examining the impact of interpersonal violence victimisation on mental health
  4. Parents as prisoners: maintaining the parent-child relationship

The extent and impact of money laundering in and through Australia and the region in 2003

Neil Jensen, John Walker, John Van Groningen, Gavin Brown and Michael Benes, Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC).
Criminology Research Council grant ; (33/03-04)

This research project was commenced to review and revise John Walker's 1995 report, Estimates of the extent of money laundering in and through Australia. The 2004-05 study was also intended to consider money laundering and terrorist financing linkages within the Asia-Pacific region.

Since the 1995 report was published by AUSTRAC, there has been little work done to quantify money laundering at national levels. The 1995 report considered a variety of sources and suggested that between AUD $1.0 and $4.5 billion per annum were generated by crime in Australia and laundered either in Australia or elsewhere, with a most likely figure of around AUD $3.5 billion, with the bulk of this quantum generated by fraud and then drugs.

The 2004-05 study built on the 1995 Walker report, again involving surveys of Australian law enforcement officials, overseas financial intelligence units, and researchers in Australia and overseas; a literature review; and analysis of official statistics, including data held by AUSTRAC. These data provided a range of estimates, which enabled the derivation of a likely range of the quantum of money laundering in or through Australia. The results suggest that crime in Australia generates between AUD $2.8 and $6.3 billion, with a likely figure of AUD $4.5 billion. Fraud and drugs are still believed to be the major generators of proceeds of crime. This is well below the range of $14.7 to $36.7 billion that would equate to the IMF's often quoted range of two to five percent of global GDP. Also, hard to quantify shadow economy activities and transfer pricing techniques that may involve underpayment of tax, cannot be readily estimated and could increase this figure.

The study found some areas for further study, particularly noting the need for further research at national levels, the need for more comprehensive and reliable data, and observed that there may be value in conducting this type of research more frequently than once every 10 years.

Juvenile Diversion and Indigenous offenders

Lucy Snowball.
Criminology Research Council grant ; (C02/06-07)

This study was motivated by a concern that Indigenous juvenile offenders were not receiving the benefits of diversionary schemes. Previous research had suggested that Indigenous offenders are diverted at a significantly lower rate than non-Indigenous offenders. This research, however, had not compared rates of diversion after adjusting for offender characteristics and other factors that can be taken into account when making the decision to divert.

The aim of the present study was to assess how much of the difference in rates of diversion between Indigenous and non-Indigenous offenders remained after these factors had been taken into account. In pursuit of this aim, a series of logistic regression models were developed to see whether the likelihood of diversion was influenced by an individual's Indigenous status, after controlling for a range of offence and offender characteristics. Diversion was modelled as both a dichotomous variable (diversion/non-diversion) and as an ordered variable (in order: Caution, Conference, Court). The data to construct the models was obtained from Western Australia (WA), South Australia (SA) and New South Wales (NSW). Diversion was defined as either a police or court referred conference or a formal police caution. Non-diversion was defined as a court appearance.

A population based study examining the impact of interpersonal violence victimisation on mental health

Lynn Meuleners, Delia Hendrie and Andy H Lee
Criminology Research Council grant (35/05-06)

Interpersonal violence victimisation (interpersonal violence) is a significant public health issue both in terms of its impact on the community and the health care system at a national and international level. A population-based, retrospective study of interpersonal violence in Western Australia was undertaken using the Western Australian Data Linkage System. This is a unique inter-linking system of hospital and other heath records which was developed in Western Australia. It systematically links administrative health data such as the morbidity, mortality and mental health data. The Data Linkage System was used to identify every individual in WA who was admitted to hospital or killed as a result of an injury inflicted by others. This information was linked to any past admission for a mental illness. The results of this research have provided a thorough description of the size and nature of interpersonal violence in Western Australia from 1990 to 2004. Secondly, it has aided in the identification of pertinent risk factors associated with violence victimisation, both in the population as a whole and specifically among people with mental illness. Thirdly, the health system costs of interpersonal violence victimisation were calculated and the share of these costs attributable to patients with mental illness.

Parents as prisoners: maintaining the parent-child relationship

Rosemary Sheehan and Gregory Levine
Criminology Research Council grant (39/05-06)

Children of parents who are or have been in prison often endure considerable disruption in their care, receive negligible material support and experience difficulty maintaining family ties. They are a uniquely vulnerable group of children, who may come into contact with child protection and welfare agencies and become the subject of child protection proceedings in children's courts. The children present particular challenges to legal and welfare decision makers in relation to maintaining relationships between the children and their parents. Little is known about this group of children, about the impact on them of their parents' offending and imprisonment and the ways, if any, that child welfare services and children's courts respond to their distinctive circumstances.

This report describes the study undertaken in the Melbourne Children's Court from June to December 2006, that set out to identify the extent to which children involved in child protection proceedings had parents who were currently or previously in prison, or were awaiting sentencing. It sought also to examine the impact of parental imprisonment on these children, to examine their care histories to discover what factors impact on their stability of care, and to propose ways the court and welfare systems should respond to these children's special circumstances. There were 156 children identified by magistrates as meeting these criteria during the study period. Data was gathered about the child protection proceedings, parental involvement with the criminal justice system, the child's age and family composition, care arrangements, information about their health and education, and about any support services and interventions involved with the child and family.

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