Journal of Criminology (formerly Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology)

Sage Publications, Inc.
Publication date:

Latest documents

  • Still no bodies: Five years of “no body, no parole” in Queensland, Australia

    “No body, no parole” laws have been introduced in and expanded across Australia since 2015. These reforms were politically premised on the notion of providing closure to victims’ families by compelling prisoners convicted of homicide offences to disclose the location of their victims’ remains in order to be considered eligible to apply for parole. These laws are in operation in most states and territories across Australia despite low national numbers of reported no body homicides. Most Australian jurisdictions do not publish parole decisions, and Queensland is one of only two jurisdictions that require no body, no parole decisions to be made public. This article reviews the roll-out of the “no body” laws in Queensland and considers the potential to misuse the victims’ movement for political gain. We examine the ten published decisions made by the Parole Board Queensland under s193A of the Corrective Services Act 2006 (Qld) to date and discuss the extent to which the legislative aims of the reforms have been met. We argue that there is little evidence these reforms have achieved their aims, and there is a risk that the politicization of parole regimes exploits the victims’ rights movement by offering victims’ families false hope.

  • Acknowledgement of reviewers for 2021
  • Effectiveness of sexual offender treatment and reintegration programs: Does program composition and sequencing matter?

    Using administrative data obtained from Queensland Corrective Services, we investigated the composition and sequencing of sex offender treatment and reintegration programs on recidivism outcomes. Outcomes were compared over an average of 4.8 years (SD = 29.20 months; range = 15 days to 9.25 years) on 2,407 adult males convicted of sexual offences and discharged from custody between 2010 and 2017. Controlling for risk, age, treatment location, and cultural heritage, those who completed a combination of preparatory programs, rehabilitation and reintegration programs were less likely to reoffend and had significantly better survival rates when they did reoffend, compared to those who did not complete—or partially completed—programs. However, reintegration programs, regardless of involvement with other correctional programming, also demonstrated success in reducing short-term recidivism. Combined, these findings indicate that the composition and sequencing of correctional programming likely plays an important role in enhancing outcomes and that engagement in reintegration programs post-incarceration may be pivotal to improving the outcomes for men convicted of sexual offences. Such sequencing, and program composition, warrants further investigation.

  • Exploring the effects of community disadvantage and remoteness on Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples’ risk of reincarceration

    Community disadvantage and a person's residential geographical location are believed to be risk factors for crime. This research aimed to go beyond examining individual-level risk factors for reincarceration and explored the impact of community disadvantage and residential geographical location on Australia's Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples’ risk of reincarceration post-release. Descriptive analyses, logistic regression and Cox proportional hazards models were conducted using survey and linked administrative data for 1238 prisoners. We found no relationship between residential geographical location and reincarceration for either Indigenous or non-Indigenous people. Moreover, no relationship between community disadvantage and reincarceration was found for non-Indigenous people, however, results indicated community disadvantage to be a protective factor for Indigenous people. Potential explanation for this perplexing finding is discussed, as are potential implications for how we view and measure community disadvantage for Australian Indigenous people.

  • Promoting the police: A thematic analysis of the New Zealand Police recruitment campaigns and the construction of officers’ identities

    Prior to 2021, the New Zealand (NZ) Police had consistently struggled to meet the required target of recruiting new police officers. As a strategy to promote the NZ Police and to subsequently increase the number of officers within the force, a series of recruitment campaigns were broadcasted. Despite appearing to frame the career of a NZ Police officer positively, research has suggested that there is a lack of diversity within the police force with women and ethnic minorities consistently underrepresented, and inequitable working conditions, therefore leading the job to be perceived as unattractive to most. However, after the release of the ‘Breaking News’ recruitment campaign together with television advertisements and targeted websites outlining information on the recruitment process, the NZ Police successfully met their target with applications exceeding 600 per month. The aim of this research was, therefore, to explore how the identities of NZ Police officers were conceptualised and constructed in the recruitment messaging. A specific focus was how the content in the videos might entice people into considering a role in the force considering the government wanted to increase police numbers by 1800 by 2021. Thematic analysis was applied to 2 NZ Police recruitment videos, 15 ‘career path’ videos, and 10 ‘bring yourself’ videos that is accessed through Four key themes were identified which emphasised that the NZ Police are comprised of a diverse group of people, committed to helping the community, prioritising safety and that they are ‘normal people’ despite their instilled authority.

  • Operational response: Policing persons with mental illness in Australia

    Across the globe, policing persons with mental illness (PWMI) in crisis involves significant police work. Police must respond effectively to individuals whose behaviour and language are often erratic, and who may be intoxicated or experiencing psychosis. In Australia, police are often criticised for inappropriately handling mental health crises in the community and for differentially policing PWMI in crisis. To better understand Australian police response to PWMI in crisis, this study conducted interviews with 25 operational police officers working in one of the largest Australian state police organisations. The findings indicate that police response to PWMI in crisis is underpinned by trial-and-error practices, because officers are insufficiently trained to manage PWMI in crisis, and police are resistant to accept tasks considered ‘welfare work’. Officers are also relieved when response to PWMI in crisis includes mental health practitioners. We argue that whilst the availability of interagency schemes in Australia is generally restricted to metropolitan areas, effective policing response to PWMI in crisis should include a collaborative response between police and mental health practitioners.

  • Disability support and reincarceration after a first adult prison custody episode for people with intellectual disability in New South Wales, Australia

    Prisoners with an intellectual disability (ID) are an over-represented group in custody, with studies indicating this group is more likely to reoffend and be reincarcerated than the general prison population. While prisoners with ID share many of the same risk factors for recidivism as the general prison population, the lack of adequate disability support has been argued to be an additional key driver of recidivism for this group. This study aims to investigate reincarceration and factors associated with reincarceration after a first adult custody episode, including the impact of provision of general and specialist disability supports. The study used linked disability support services and custody data to identify a cohort of 1,129 prisoners with ID who were released from a first adult custodial episode in New South Wales (NSW) between 2005 and 2015. Over the follow-up period, the linked custody data showed that 72% (813) of those identified with an ID and released from a first adult custodial episode returned to prison, of which 76% (617) received no post-release disability support. This study found that 27% (308) of the study cohort had received a disability support service post-release from adult custody. Receipt of disability support was associated with a lower risk of reincarceration, while younger age and shorter duration of the custodial episode were associated with higher risk of reincarceration. The potential for disability support to lower risk of reincarceration highlights the importance of funding programmes that connect prisoners with ID to appropriate post-release disability supports.

  • ‘Offending doesn't happen in a vacuum’: The backgrounds and experiences of children under the age of 14 years who offend

    Relative to those who first offend in adolescence, younger children who offend are at increased risk of engaging in serious, persistent, and violent offending. In addition, these children are at risk of a range of adverse psychosocial outcomes across the lifespan. Early intervention with children at risk of offending is therefore critical to support children to thrive and reduce offending and victimisation rates. This study sought to explore the backgrounds and experiences of children who offend prior to the age of 14 years to shed light on the development of child offending and assist early intervention efforts. Interviews with family members (with lived experience of interacting with the child welfare and child offending system) and frontline child welfare and judicial professionals (who directly engage with children who offend) (n = 33) were conducted. Their experiences show that children who offend have clear, significant, and unaddressed child welfare concerns, including growing up in poverty and experiencing abuse, which cumulatively impacts on children's normative development and can eventually culminate in offending. Participants called for urgent action to address the sociostructural concerns that underlie child welfare concerns and provide prompt and effective assistance to families in need to support children to thrive and prevent future victimisation.

  • Understanding pet scams: A case study of advance fee and non-delivery fraud using victims’ accounts

    Advance fee and non-delivery frauds have become very common with the growing preference for online shopping and the new opportunities this brings for online offenders. This article uses unique access to a volunteer group’s database focused on preventing pet scams to explore this type of crime. Distances, among other factors, make the purchase of pets online common in countries such as the USA, Australia and South Africa. This modality of purchase has been exploited by organized criminals largely based in Cameroon to conduct advance fee and non-delivery frauds. The article uses data from the volunteer group to provide unique insights on the techniques of the offenders with particular reference to the strategies used to maximize victimization by using real accounts of victims of such frauds. It also briefly notes how the COVID-19 crisis has been used to adapt this type of scam. The article’s discussion identifies the need for a more nuanced assessment into the role of victim oriented voluntary organizations.

  • Fear of crime examined through diversity of crime, social inequalities, and social capital: An empirical evaluation in Peru

    Latin America is a violent region where fear of crime is well spread but still not fully understood. Using multilevel methods for a large and subnational representative household survey (N = 271,022), we assess the determinants of fear of crime in Peru, the country with the highest fear of crime and crime victimization in the region. Our results show that body-aimed victimization (physical or sexual abuse from a member of their household, and sexual offenses) is the strongest driver of fear of crime, even higher than armed victimization. Moreover, safety measures based on social capital are negatively related to fear of crime, suggesting that they are palliatives rather than real protections. Finally, our study shows that people in a higher socioeconomic status are more likely to fear more because they have more (resources) to lose. Policy implications address Latin America as a whole and punitive policies against crime are common in the region, while evidence-based decisions are scarce.

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