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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. CRG 29/13-14: The reporting experiences and support needs of victims of online fraud
  2. CRG Exploring the procedural barriers to securing unexplained wealth orders in Australia
  3. CRG 47/10-11: Homicide and the Nighttime Economy
  4. CRG 58/12-13: Online child sexual exploitation offenders: A study of Australian law enforcement data
  5. CRG 26/13-14: Understanding the transition out of prison for people with intellectual disability

CRG 29/13-14: The reporting experiences and support needs of victims of online fraud

Cassandra Cross, Kelly Richards, Russell Smith
Criminology Research Grant: CRG 29/13-14

Online fraud poses a substantial threat to the financial and overall wellbeing of Australians. This research examines the reporting experiences and support needs of 80 victims of online fraud across Australia, who reported losses of at least AUD$10,000 to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. The findings highlight the many difficulties and challenges faced by victims in attempting to report their incident and document their overwhelmingly negative experiences with agencies across the “fraud justice network”. The report also highlights the devastating impact that online fraud can have on individual victims and the lack of support services available to assist with recovery. Overall, these findings demonstrate the need to more effectively respond to online fraud victims from within the “fraud justice network”. Additionally, they illustrate the need to provide more adequate support mechanisms, which seek to counter the negativity, victim blaming, shame and stigma associated with this particular crime type.

CRG Exploring the procedural barriers to securing unexplained wealth orders in Australia

Marcus Smith & Russell G Smith

Criminology Research Grant

Australia’s unexplained wealth laws form part of a range of measures introduced in response to growing concern about the prevalence and impact of organised crime. The confiscation of criminal assets, including through the use of unexplained wealth legislation, seeks to undermine the business model of organised crime by removing its financial return, punishing offenders, compensating society, preventing the improper use of assets and deterring participation in crime. Although approximately $800m in assets have been confiscated across Australia over the last two decades, only a small proportion of this was confiscated through the application of unexplained wealth laws—possibly as little as $9m since the laws were first introduced in 2000. This report examines the policies and procedures that have been used in almost all of Australia’s states and territories, and at Commonwealth level, to restrain and confiscate unexplained wealth derived from the proceeds of crime. It identifies barriers to their implementation and explores ways in which procedural reforms could be made to improve confiscation of the proceeds of crime of Australia’s most serious criminals.

CRG 47/10-11: Homicide and the Nighttime Economy

Stephen Tomsen, Jason Payne
Criminology Research Grant: CRG 47/10-11

CRG 58/12-13: Online child sexual exploitation offenders: A study of Australian law enforcement data

Tony Krone, Russell G Smith, Jenny Cartwright, Alice Hutchings, Adam Tomison Sarah Napier
Criminology Research Grant: CRG 58/12-13

Homicide and social patterns of alcohol use have become matters of wide concern in the Australian community. In recent years there has been particular interest in understanding and preventing attacks in commercial nightlife settings that typically involve high levels of collective drinking. Although overall rates of Australian homicide are in a long-term pattern of decline the Australian Institute of Criminology National Homicide Monitoring Program has produced a series of reports that draw out the persistent role of alcohol in homicide. This study provides evidence that homicides related to the night-time economy are not highly concentrated in locations of nightlife and heavy drinking that are usually understood as problematic sites of assaults and public disorder. Nevertheless, there is a broad persistence of after dark homicides that involve intoxication and are either directly or indirectly related to commercial night leisure.

Although the full extent and nature of the sexual exploitation of children is only beginning to be recognised, it is a problem of global significance that requires strong and effective responses. The extent to which the viewing of child exploitation material (CEM) is linked to involvement in producing such material, sharing it and using it to groom and then assault children is a key concern. Most such material is held online, and it is important to understand how offenders use the internet to access CEM and to groom children for sexual exploitation.

This exploratory study examines data relating to a sample of offenders convicted of online child sexual exploitation offences under Australian Commonwealth law, to determine how online forms of child sexual exploitation and offline child sexual exploitation, or contact offending, are related. The majority of offenders in this study appeared to commit only online offences, although in a minority of cases there was a connection between exploitative material, grooming and contact offending.
This study is an important early step in improving our understanding of offenders and points to the need for further assessment of the nature of online child sexual exploitation and its relationship to other forms of sexual and violent offences.

CRG 26/13-14: Understanding the transition out of prison for people with intellectual disability

Kate van Dooren, Jesse T Young, Fernanda Claudio, Craig Cumming, Nick Lennox
Criminology Research Grant: CRG 26/13-14

Approximately 1 in every 10 soon-to-be-released prisoners in Australia lives with an intellectual disability, yet remarkably little is known about their health and justice-related outcomes following their release from prison. This study aimed to understand the health and social needs during transition out of prison for people with intellectual disability across two Australian states: Queensland and Western Australia (WA). We interviewed 17 service providers to seek their perspectives about where gaps in the transition out of prison exist and which specific steps can be taken to address unmet need for ex-prisoners with intellectual disability. Our analysis of key themes identified inadequate life skills, identification of disability, system complexities and combative relationships as crucial gaps to providing comprehensive and effective support during the transition out of prison. Key facilitators to overcoming these gaps included timely planning of transition, continuity of care, relationships and trust, training of service providers and the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). This arena is complex. Our results indicate that there exist clear differences between policy, service delivery objectives and actual delivery of service to ex-prisoners with intellectual disability. Our findings suggest a clear mandate for modifications and adjustments to current support arrangements (or the creation of support where it is currently absent) and the need for systemic change to address ‘wicked problems’ that hinder the ability of ex-prisoners with intellectual disability to remain out of prison and healthy.

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