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Homicide prevention conference

CrimBrief The Official Blog of the AIC

30 March 2014

This week Griffith University and the AIC hosted the Homicide: Precursors and Prevention conference in Brisbane. The conference was developed by Griffith University’s Professor Paul Mazerolle (Pro Vice Chancellor - Arts, Education and Law) with the support of AIC Director, Dr Adam Tomison.

This plenary-style conference brought together key international and Australian homicide researchers to discuss emerging research and key issues in preventing and responding to homicide. Around 160 people attended the two day event.

The University of Ottawa’s Professor Holly Johnson was one of a number of presenters who addressed issues associated with intimate partner homicides. She spoke about precursors to intimate partner homicide examining prevention strategies and factors that may increase the risk of a homicide incident. Professor Kathleen Heide from the University of South Florida (USA) spoke exclusively about parricide – the murder of parents. There was also a wide-ranging panel discussion on improving death review systems after a presentation on death reviews from Professor Myrna Dawson (University of Guelph, Canada).

Professor Mazerolle led a series of papers from a team of researchers that outlined findings from the Australian Homicide Project, based on interviews with over 300 homicide offenders.

Dr Tomison presented an overview of Australian homicide trends and also presented as part of a session of papers on child homicides, which constitute a small but significant number of deaths in Australia each year. He also spoke about homicides in general on Brisbane ABC Radio.

Manager of the AIC’s Violence and Serious Crime Monitoring, Jason Payne, addressed the gathering on a statistical analysis of three criminal career trajectories that led to homicide, again in the context of understanding risks, and prevention.

Other key issues covered included: the relationship between mental illness and homicide, institutional (particularly police) responses to homicide. Professor Fiona Brookman from the University of Southern Wales (UK) discussed the findings of her comparative study of UK and US police approaches and attitudes to homicide investigation.

photo of Jason Payne presenting Pathways to homicide

Jason Payne presenting Pathways to homicide: A trajectory-based approach to the drug use and criminal careers of homicide offenders in Queensland

The Conference was concluded with a discussion of ‘one-punch’ killings in Australia led by Associate Professor Peter Miller (Deakin), a homicide category of particular concern at present, in the context of the wider issue of alcohol-fuelled violence and youth homicides in the night time economy.

photo of Kathleen Heide from the University of South Florida discusses Understanding Parricide

Kathleen Heide from the University of South Florida discusses Understanding Parricide: When Sons and Daughters Kill Parents

photo of panel session

Discussing death review committees for intimate partner and child homicide. Chair: Heather Nancarrow, Panel: Lisa Broidy, Anna Butler, Adam Tomison, Susan Beattie and Myrna Dawson.

In coming weeks the AIC will post videos of key presentations from the program on CriminologyTV.

Australian Homicide Statistics

Homicide type by yearslide

Posted: 31 March 2014 | | | | | |