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Report on performance

Research overview

Despite undertaking less contracted research than expected in 2012–13 due to a general reduction in the availability of funding for research within agencies at both the state and federal levels, the AIC Research program completed another year where a substantial amount of quality work was undertaken and a valuable contribution was made to the crime and justice sector.

Midway through the year, a review of the research functions was undertaken and this resulted in a research team restructure to better meet the business needs of the organisation. There are now three research teams that align with the AIC’s six strategic research priorities:

  • The Violent and Serious Crime Monitoring (VSCM) team remained largely unchanged, but was given responsibility for the National Armed Robbery Monitoring Program (NARMP).
  • The Transnational and Organised Crime (TOC) team (formerly the Global, Economic and Electronic Crime Team) was expanded to incorporate the Human Trafficking and Slavery Program.
  • The Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Responses (CP&CJR) team (formerly the Crime Reduction and Review Team) was given additional responsibility for youth justice, Indigenous justice and corrections.

There have been a number of highlights to the research undertaken this year, which serve to show the breadth of coverage of AIC’s research which, as always, strives to be world-class.

Following a review conducted during the year, DUMA was re-launched with the intention of being more sustainable into the future. This has included reducing the number of core sites and bringing some of the fieldwork in-house. Importantly, the interview schedule is being streamlined to allow for additional temporary questions to be included. These are intended to explore a range of criminal justice and criminological questions over the coming years, which see the use of DUMA extending beyond its traditional substance misuse focus. In this way, the AIC can make the most of the innovative methodology of being able to access and interview police detainees across the nation to explore not only traditional areas around illicit drugs, but to incorporate new areas for assessment.

This year was the 20th anniversary of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody (RCIADIC). To mark this milestone, the AIC published a special edition monitoring report from its NDICP. Although the trend in deaths in custody is downward, the report noted that there is still more to be done to address the issue of Indigenous overrepresentation in the criminal justice system.

The year saw the Institute continue to support the Australian Government on a range of important research issues, maintaining a strong relationship with AGD. For example, the TOC team assisted AGD with the development of a framework for measuring identity crime and also undertook to update research on the costs of crime in Australia. The VSCM team supported AGD through its ongoing evaluation of drug and alcohol programs for offenders, and through a new study exploring the links between violent extremism and gang violence. Towards the end of the year, the CP&CJR team supported AGD by seconding a team member to assist with the development and evaluation of the National Crime Prevention Fund. The AIC also finished its secondment of two research staff members to work with the ACC, which was a useful way of enhancing existing relationships with the ACC and integrating research and intelligence analyses to effect.

Other government departments were also supported through a range of projects. For example, the TOC team collaborated with the Centre of Excellence in Policing and Security at Griffith University to complete a study of the cloud computing risks for small businesses for the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy. The CP&CJR team continued to support the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs by updating remote service delivery baseline data. In addition, the TOC team have continued to work with the Interdepartmental Committee on Human Trafficking and Slavery to implement a program of research on trafficking in persons and slavery.

During the year, AIC staff worked with representatives of HOCOLEA to finalise a first research plan that will focus on three research priorities—cybercrime, identity crime and financial crime. The plan identifies a range of specific areas in which further research will be needed in the coming years.

In additional to work at the national level, AIC has continued to work closely with states and territories on a range of important research projects. This has included a ‘safer streets’ audit and preparation for a review of a risk assessment tool tailored for use with Indigenous offenders in the Northern Territory, which will take place in late 2013. In Victoria, a number of projects have been undertaken for the Department of Justice, including an evaluation of changes to community corrections orders (undertaken in collaboration with PriceWaterhouseCoopers), the development of an economic model to measure the short-term costs of imprisonment and community corrections, and an evaluation of a violence against women prevention program. In New South Wales, the AIC completed a research project investigating the service needs and court experiences of male victims of non-sexual and non-domestic violence, and a significant systematic review for NSW Department of Attorney General and Justice of prevention measures targeting crime types for NSW local councils. In addition, the Institute is beginning to work closely with a number of local government areas to provide crime prevention research, education and training through its CP ASSIST program.

Violent and serious crime monitoring

The VSCM team is particularly concerned with research programs on substance abuse and crime, and its links with violent crime. The team consists of 11 researchers led by Research Manager, Jason Payne.

Research directions

Throughout 2012–13, the VSCM team continued in its role of coordinating AIC’s core crime monitoring programs. These included the National Homicide Monitoring Program (NHMP), NDICP, DUMA, NARMP and the National Police Custody Survey.

In addition to crime monitoring, the VSCM program continued to progress a number of high-profile research projects in 2012–13. In its ongoing role as a consortium member of the National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre, the AIC finalised a number of crime and justice research papers on topics such as cannabis drug-driving, cannabis and mental health in the criminal justice system, and cannabis use among prisoners in Australia.

VSCM continued an evaluation of the effectiveness of six alcohol and substance misuse rehabilitation programs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients. This evaluation is funded by AGD in support of the National Indigenous Law and Justice Framework 2009–15 (adopted by the Standing Committee of Attorneys-General). The purpose of the evaluation is to assess whether the programs, or elements of them, can be considered ‘good practice’. The basis for determining good practice will assist in identifying the best approaches to tackling crime, justice and community safety issues in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. This project is being undertaken in partnership with the Social Policy Research Centre at the University of New South Wales.

VSCM staff also continued work on two separately funded CRG projects. The first, conducted with Professor Stephen Tomsen at the University of Western Sydney, examines homicide events directly and indirectly related to the night-time economy. The second, undertaken by AIC staff, sought to identify a typology of domestic violence perpetration by triangulating officially recorded incidents of domestic violence from Tasmania’s Safe at Home program with descriptions of incidents and consultations with stakeholders.

In April 2013, VSCM was commissioned by AGD through the Australian Government’s Countering-Violent Extremism Strategy to undertake research to better understand violent extremism. This three month study involved semi-structured interviews with law enforcement officers and community representatives to explore the links between gang violence and violent extremism in order to assess the applicability of responses. The assessment was structured around the core aspects of engagement with young people, progression from non-violent activity to violent activity and disengagement.

In the year ahead, the VCSM team will undergo a restructure of its work plan, organising its core monitoring activities within two main streams of work—the National Violence Research Program and the National Custody Research Program. The new team structure will facilitate a renewed focus on the core research topics of violence and custody operation, bringing with it a series of new research publications and projects.

Key program outputs

National Deaths in Custody Program

In May 2013, the AIC released the 20th anniversary special NDICP monitoring report. In this report, new data were analysed on the prevalence of mental illness and the impact of drugs and alcohol among the deaths in custody population. It was revealed that approximately one-quarter of all prisoners who died in custody and 40 percent of those who died in police operations had some form of mental illness. With regard to drugs and alcohol, 80 percent of police-related deaths were of persons who had recently consumed alcohol and/or illicit drugs, with this proportion increasing to almost 90 percent for motor vehicle pursuit offenders.

Overall, it was found that both the Indigenous and non-Indigenous rates of deaths in prison custody decreased over the last decade and are now some of the lowest ever recorded. Further, over the last eight years, the Indigenous rate of death in prison has been lower than the equivalent non-Indigenous rate.

However, while Indigenous prisoners are statistically less likely to die in custody than non-Indigenous prisoners, the actual number of Indigenous deaths in prison are rising. Twenty years after RCIADIC, too many Indigenous persons are still ending up in custody. It was concluded that efforts to address Indigenous overrepresentation and the structural factors that contribute (such as housing, employment, poverty, mental health and substance abuse) should be continued.

National Police Custody Survey

The AIC is currently engaged in technical discussions with police agencies to redevelop the current Police Custody census survey into a national police custody monitoring program. This revised program has been developed to take advantage of improved custody records available in the electronic custody management systems operating in each jurisdiction. The AIC is seeking electronic unit record data for each custody episode for at least one full financial year, rather than the one month paper-based census survey as in the previous program.

It is anticipated that this new program will provide the capacity to quantify the prevalence of a range of issues, such as providing a front-end measure of the representation of Indigenous Australians in police custody, the prevalence of mental illness, disability, drugs and/or alcohol, the amount of police time that is involved in custody episodes, as well as collecting data that can be used to assess the impact of alternatives to custody, such as police diversion.

National Homicide Monitoring Program

The 2008–09 and 2009–10 NHMP monitoring report was published in February 2013. Data collection for the 2010–11 and 2011–12 financial years is currently underway and the team expects publication of these data early in 2014 to ensure the latest data are available to AIC stakeholders.

Drug Use Monitoring in Australia

Operating since 1999, the DUMA program has provided timely data on drug use and offending to a range of stakeholders in the justice and health sectors for over 13 years. The regular DUMA outputs inform operational policing practices in drug-related crime. DUMA data are also used to inform other justice agencies, including those in the intelligence sector.

Following the review of DUMA completed in 2012, DUMA data collection was deferred for six months as an efficiency measure but is scheduled to recommence in July 2013.

National Armed Robbery Monitoring program

NARMP aims to examine the use of weapons in the commission of armed robbery, to increase the in-depth knowledge of armed robbery and provide accurate and timely information regarding the circumstances and nature of armed robbery in Australia. The next report, describing armed robberies in the calendar years 2009 and 2010, has entered the publication process, with an anticipated release in late 2013.

In addition to monitoring activities, research is being undertaken to develop a classification framework that distinguishes different types of armed robbery. The focus of the research will be on identifying patterns in characteristics described in the NARMP robbery case narratives and how any identified types might correspond to those described in earlier Australian and international literature.

Research influence

Deaths in custody

NDICP provides one of a few Indigenous-specific indicators of comparative disadvantage in the criminal justice system. The unique data collected as part of NDICP is used for planning, monitoring, performance assessment and research. It is used by the state/territory data providers and by an increasing number of key Australian Government agencies, including the Commonwealth Grants Commission, the Productivity Commission and various bodies associated with the Council of Australian Governments. The AIC continues to work closely with custodial authorities to monitor how efforts to close the gap are impacting on Indigenous overrepresentation in the justice system and the related issue of deaths in custody of Indigenous Australians.

In 2011, the AIC was invited to contribute to the Australian Indigenous Law Review’s commemorative edition on the 20th anniversary of RCIADIC. Senior AIC researchers reviewed long-term trends in the data for their article Twenty Years of Monitoring Since the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody: An Overview by the Australian Institute of Criminology.

Homicides in Australia

NHMP produces the most comprehensive set of data on Australian homicides. This dataset is integral to understanding the nature and extent of this crime and is a key resource that can be used to inform policy development and interventions. AIC disseminates these important data by developing research partnerships and completing data requests with and for academics and government agencies.

The NHMP team is currently finalising a collaborative study with academics from the Australian Centre for Arson Research and Treatment at Bond University. This study is exploring arson in terms of the intent of the offender, for example, whether arson was used as a means of deliberately killing someone as opposed to the majority of bushfire arsonists who set fires without a specific target in mind.

Stakeholder relationships

The VSCM team has a close working relationship with representatives of police agencies, corrective services departments, juvenile justice agencies and the coroner’s court staff in each jurisdiction. Researchers frequently liaise with personnel in all of those organisations.

In particular, and as a result of the review of monitoring programs, the team actively engaged with agencies throughout 2012–13 in an effort to identify and develop ways to improve its monitoring research functions. The AIC’s monitoring of crime and justice issues would not be possible without the information provided by each of Australia’s police services, by prison administrators and by juvenile justice authorities, who also assist by reviewing publications prior to release. Over the year, VSCM also timed the release of particular DUMA reports on police detainees and alcohol to coincide with the ANZPAA regular ‘blitzes’ on alcohol-related crime, Operation Unite.

During 2012–13, the AIC continued its collaboration with the National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre on a range of work focusing on cannabis use in the criminal justice system. A highlight was a series of work conducted on synthetic cannabis, later translated into short research articles for publishing in national and jurisdictional police journals.

Highlight 5 Deaths in Custody

Monitoring deaths in custody

RCIADIC recommended a monitoring program to examine deaths occurring in prison, police and youth justice custody, and in 1992 the AIC released the first Deaths in Custody monitoring report. Annual data has been published regularly since then. The AIC receives deaths in custody data from all Australian police and corrections agencies and uses available coronial findings where possible. Throughout 2011, the AIC undertook a comprehensive review of the NDICP, which included a focus on data quality, clarifying definitions, improvements to data collection and validation processes, as well as the development of new data on the prevalence of drugs and/or alcohol, and mental illness among those persons dying in custody. To comply with Australian Government reporting practice, NDICP has moved to reporting on a financial year basis.

20th anniversary report

In 2012–13, NDICP achieved a significant milestone with the production of a 20th anniversary special edition monitoring report covering data to 30 June 2011. This publication marks 20 years since the completion RCIADIC and the 20 years of monitoring by the AIC. Findings from the most recent monitoring report confirm the main conclusion of the Royal Commission, which was that Indigenous people are generally not more likely to die in custody than non-Indigenous people but that Indigenous people are significantly overrepresented in all forms of custody compared with non-Indigenous persons.

Since the Royal Commission, Indigenous representation in custody has almost doubled rather than reduced; therefore, efforts to reduce Indigenous deaths in custody must include a general focus on reducing their contact with the criminal justice system.

Despite the negative trend of increased Indigenous contact with the criminal justice system, analysis of data captured by NDICP demonstrates that significant improvements have been made to prevent deaths in some areas, but that work should continue in order to reduce other forms of deaths in custody.

Over the last decade, there has been a considerable decline in self-inflicted deaths in custody, such as hangings, most particularly among Indigenous prisoners and police detainees, however these incidents do still occur.

Over the period 2003–11, most deaths in custody were due to natural causes, with Indigenous people less likely to die in prison (0.16 per 100 in 2010–11) than non-Indigenous people (0.22 per 100). The challenge that remains is to continue to reduce self-harm matters, while orienting health facilities to cater for the needs of an ageing prison population and the concomitant rise in serious illness and disease.

Motor vehicle pursuits

In response to increased media and public attention on motor vehicle pursuits by police, The AIC undertook analysis of pursuit-related crashes and fatalities using data from NDICP, the National Coronial Information System and from police agencies across Australia. The findings were released in a Trends & Issues paper detailing incident rates, characteristics of the pursuits and information relating to deaths. (see T&I 452 Motor vehicle persuit-related fatalities in Australia, 2000-11)

Transnational and organised crime

The TOC team, previously known as the Global Economic and Electronic Crime team, undertakes projects in the areas of cybercrime, financial crime and the costs of crime, identity crime, corruption, environmental crime and human trafficking and slavery. The team consists of six researchers and is led by Principal Criminologist, Dr Russell G Smith, with support from Deputy Research Manager, Dr Samantha Bricknell. In 2012–13, the team incorporated work into human trafficking and slavery as part of a restructure of the Research program.

Research directions

In 2012–13, the TOC team continued a range of research projects in financial and cybercrime, undertaking new research dealing with cloud computing, identity crime and misuse, and the development of new estimates of the costs of crime in Australia.

The TOC team’s research on identity crime has continued, with the preparation of a report for AGD setting out a plan for the development of a national monitoring program on identity crime and misuse. The first component of this will be a national survey of identity crime victims to be undertaken by the AIC in late 2013.

TOC staff also commenced research in collaboration with the Australian Federal Police and University of Canberra to document the relationship between the use of CEM, online grooming of children and contact sexual offending against children. This will involve the analysis of police files and interview material collected from a sample of over 100 individuals who have been convicted of possession or trading in CEM.

The Human Trafficking and Slavery Program commenced its second four-year research program in 2012–13. Along with finalising existing trafficking projects on sex worker vulnerabilities and marriage arrangements, the AIC undertook new research part-funded by the Sisters of the Sacred Heart Josephite Counter-trafficking Project and the Catholic Archdiocese, which examined the risks and protective factors for migrant workers in the Australian construction industry. Additional research projects included an analysis of trafficking offenders, domestic trafficking, informal guardianship arrangements in the Pacific and child trafficking, and the return and reintegration of Indonesian trafficking victims.

Key program outputs

During 2012–13, TOC team staff completed the final research papers in to elements of anti-money-laundering/counter-terrorism financing, including the publication of the results of a national survey into the perceptions of the regulated sector in Australia. Other published research included work on:

  • consumer fraud victimisation—the results of the annual online survey of consumer scam victims for 2010, 2011 and 2012, as well as research into threats facing small businesses that use cloud computing technologies;
  • the International Organization of Migration’s Counter-Trafficking Module Indonesia database—the first three papers of a five part human trafficking report series using previously unpublished data from the IOM database were released. These reports describe the experiences and exploitation of Indonesian trafficking victims and the barriers to their involvement in the Indonesian criminal justice system; and
  • TOC staff partnered with external authors on the publication of research into welfare fraud in Australia and convictions for insolvency offences committed by company directors.

Key conferences

During 2012–13, TOC staff presented papers at a number of academic and industry conferences in the areas of financial crime, cybercrime and human trafficking. Key international events were the 30th Cambridge International Symposium on Economic Crime: Economic Crime—Surviving the Fall—Myths and Realities, at Jesus College, Cambridge, the 12th Annual Conference of the European Society of Criminology, at Bilbao, Spain, the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Summit 2012 and the 25th Annual Conference of the Australian and New Zealand Society of Criminology, both in Auckland, New Zealand.

Research influence

During the year, the research undertaken by the TOC team has been used to inform a range of developments in policy and practice. Notably:

  • a review of corruption in the public sector was used to inform a proposed national anti-corruption plan;
  • research on identity misuse was used to develop a national monitoring framework;
  • research on cloud computing for small businesses informed a National Cloud Computing Strategy;
  • research on consumer fraud supported the Australasian Consumer Fraud Taskforce’s National Consumer Fraud Week; and
  • TOC staff appeared before the Joint Select Committee on Cyber Safety as part of their Inquiry into Cyber Safety for Senior Australians.

Stakeholder relationships

Human trafficking and slavery research forum

In November, the AIC hosted a Research Forum attended by over 50 stakeholders representing academia, government and non-government agencies. The forum was used to present updates on three AIC human trafficking research projects (human trafficking risks and protective factors for sex workers, human trafficking involving marriage and partner migration, experiences of victims of human trafficking in Indonesia) and introduce stakeholders to the proposed enhancement of the human trafficking and slavery monitoring program.

Other stakeholder relationships

Consultations were also held with a range of other agencies and organisations, including with the:

  • Australasian Consumer Fraud Taskforce on consumer scams;
  • Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy regarding cloud computing risks for small business; and
  • AGD regarding identity crime and misuse, the proposed national anti-corruption strategy, research into justice reinvestment and the costs of crime.

Crime prevention and criminal justice responses

The CP&CJR team was established midway through 2012–13 when the staff and responsibilities from the former Crime Reduction and Review team were combined with the Indigenous justice, juvenile justice and corrections responsibilities and associated staff from the former Crime and Populations team. The CP&CJR team is led by Research Manager Peter Homel with support from Deputy Research Manager Matthew Willis.

Research directions

Since its establishment, the CP&CJR team has continued the AIC’s work in conducting evaluation and performance measurement projects focused on interventions for preventing and reducing offending, as well as developing practical resources for developing crime prevention capacities. The team has also contributed to developments in the practice of youth justice and adult community corrections across Australia.

The AIC’s evaluation work has covered a broad cross-section of the criminal justice system, resulting in the completion or continuation of work evaluating a diverse group of initiatives. These have included the Queensland Special Circumstances Court Diversion Program, the NSW Family Group Conferencing Pilot program, random breath testing in Queensland, the newly strengthened Service Delivery Model adopted by Victorian Community Correctional Services and the evaluation for AGD of a set of four distinct programs operating in South Australia, the Northern Territory and Queensland, each aimed at reducing the involvement of Indigenous youth in offending.

The AIC also finalised a systematic review commissioned by the Crime Prevention Division of the NSW Department of Attorney General and Justice to investigate prevention measures targeting crime types identified as priority areas for NSW local councils. A project conducted by the AIC in conjunction with the University of Technology Sydney and funded by NDLERF developed a practical and empirical basis for formulating the ratio of crowd controllers to patrons and tools for assessing and managing risk.

The AIC’s work evaluating the Victorian Community Correctional Services Service Delivery Model is providing ongoing advice to support Corrections Victoria’s continuing implementation of the model. Further, the AIC has worked closely with Corrections Victoria to develop an economic model to estimate the costs and savings associated with imprisonment and community corrections in that state. Through work commissioned by AJJA, the AIC has also developed a draft National Youth Justice Framework currently under consideration and is finalising a national study of juvenile bail and remand to be published in late 2013.

Finally, through CP ASSIST, the AIC increased an already strong focus on crime prevention at the local government level. This has led to the development of closer working relationships with networks of crime prevention and community safety professionals working at the local government level in several states. The AIC has placed greater emphasis on developing an urban safety agenda that encompasses a broad range of stakeholders, including architects and planners, as well as those from local criminal justice agencies.

Key program outputs

During 2012–13, the CP&CJR team completed several important research projects that will impact on policy and practice.

Evaluation of state and territory criminal justice programs

In February 2013, two reports were released for the NSW Government by the Attorney-General and Minister for Family and Community Affairs:

  • the report of the evaluation of the NSW Family Group Conferencing pilot program assessed alternative dispute resolution services for care and protection matters not currently before the Children’s Court. The research found the Family Group Conferencing pilot program provided an important opportunity to resolve child protection matters and build support networks for families and resulted in a number of recommendations aimed at improving the service; and
  • the results of a process and outcome evaluation of alternative dispute resolution initiatives in the care and protection jurisdiction of the NSW Children’s Court. The evaluation found the programs had been implemented effectively and a high standard of alternative dispute resolution was being delivered, while also identifying areas for further improvement.

Following an earlier process review of the former Northern Territory Media Classification Awareness and Education Campaign, in 2012–13 the AIC completed an evaluation of the Northern Territory Department of Justice’s Australian Classification Education program. The Australian Classification Education program aimed to educate Indigenous people about the Australian media classification and the harms of exposing young people to pornographic, sexually explicit and violent media. The evaluation found that the Northern Territory Department of Justice employed innovative approaches in responding to a rapidly changing social and technological environment in which the program delivery took place.

Victims of crime

During 2012–13, the AIC completed a research project investigating the service needs and court experiences of male victims of non-sexual and non-domestic violence. Funded by the Victims Services section of the NSW Department of Attorney General and Justice, the research found that many male victims of violence rely on informal sources of support, but some would benefit from more formal support services. A range of barriers to men engaging with support services were identified.

An empirical basis for the ratio of crowd controllers to patrons

This NDLERF-funded a project aimed at developing an empirical basis for the formulation of crowd controller-to-patron ratios and at developing an appropriate risk management and decision-making tool. The matrix is particularly geared to calculating ratios for large-scale ‘one-off’ events, such as concerts, rave parties and country races and also allows the calculation of ratios for ongoing business in licensed premises. Undertaken jointly with the Australian Centre for Event Management at the University of Technology Sydney, the project resulted in a report and a series of dynamic toolkits to assist stakeholders in making informed assessments of the likely requirements for running a safer event.


The CP&CJR team provided significant contributions to the AIC’s Australasian Youth Justice Conference, held in Canberra in May 2013, with team members contributing presentations and workshops to this very successful conference. Work in armed robbery monitoring and police crime prevention initiatives provided the basis for papers presented by team members at the 25th Australia and New Zealand Society of Criminology conference, held in Auckland New Zealand in November 2012.

Team members also presented papers based on the NSW evaluation work to the Child Aware Approaches Conference, held in Melbourne in April 2013 and a paper on improving the effectiveness of community crime prevention to the Western Australia Local Government Association Community Safety and Crime Prevention Conference, held in Perth in May 2013.

New contracts

Towards the end of 2012–13, the Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Responses Team began work on two new areas of work:

  • A Safer Streets Audit to examine crime and antisocial behaviour priorities in Darwin and surrounding areas. This is being undertaken in partnership with Charles Darwin University.
  • A study for the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, examining sources of data available to inform the Royal Commission’s work. This is being undertaken in partnership with the Australian Centre for Child Protection Studies at the University of South Australia and the Social Policy Research Centre at the University of New South Wales.

Research influence


Launched in 2011–12, CP ASSIST provides services in the following key areas:

  • Research—a program of research and evaluation work directed towards improving the evidence base for effective crime reduction and prevention interventions.
  • Events—direct provision of workshop, roundtable and seminar activities to crime reduction and prevention professionals and associated groups (eg local government, program managers, business councils and non-government organisations);
  • Training seminars and workshops in crime prevention related areas;
  • Information resources—research and policy material is synthesised for a range of stakeholder audiences on the CP ASSIST web portal. These range from larger issues papers, shorter summary papers, bibliographies, evaluation and performance measurement handbooks and toolkits;
  • Crime prevention online community (OLC)—web-forums and an online knowledge exchange network are provided to facilitate professional engagement and enhance skills and other capacities within Australia but with the intention of facilitating international linkages as well.

The service continued to grow in 2012–13, adding a range of resources to its library. This included research outputs, better practice principles and information alerts to build and spread an evidenced knowledge base that can provide practical benefits to those involved in developing and implementing crime prevention policies and initiatives.

Local government crime prevention

The AIC has been developing its role as a research and knowledge centre to support local government crime prevention initiatives. As well as CP ASSIST, members of the CP&CJR team have delivered information, support tools and training workshops to the City of Sydney, the NSW Local Government Community Safety and Crime Prevention Network, the Western Australia Local Government Association and the Victorian Local Government Professionals Community Safety Special Interest Group.

On behalf of the Office of Women’s Policy in the Victorian Department of Human Services, the AIC is conducting an evaluation of the Preventing Violence Against Women in our Community program. This initiative aims to develop a whole-of-community approach to the prevention of violence against women.

Contribution to international crime prevention policy and practice

CP&CJR Research Manager, Peter Homel, has been organising the AIC’s contribution to the 13th United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice to be held in Qatar in 2014. This will involve a workshop examining the public contribution to crime prevention and raising awareness of criminal justice. This has involved engaging with international colleagues, including the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the International Centre for the Prevention of Crime, the Korean Institute of Criminology, the United Nations Asia and Far East Institute for the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders, the International Centre for Criminal Law Reform and Criminal Justice Policy, and the Permanent Latin American Committee for the Prevention of Crime.

CP&CJR Deputy Research Manager, Matthew Willis, visited Bangkok, Thailand in April 2013 to present a paper at the ASEAN Plus Three Conference on Probation and Non-Custodial Measures. During this visit, Mr Willis had discussions with staff of the Thailand Institute of Justice and the Department of Juvenile Protection and Observation to progress relationships between our agencies. These discussions continued with a visit from senior staff of the Department of Juvenile Protection and Observation to Canberra in May 2013 to attend the Australasian Youth Justice Conference and to meet with the AIC in relation to collaborative research opportunities.

Stakeholder relationships

CP ASSIST roundtable

A national roundtable on CP ASSIST was held at the AIC in October 2012 to identify current needs within the crime prevention sector and options for further developing CP ASSIST in coming years.

Roundtable on cyber safety

In February 2013, the AIC hosted a roundtable meeting of the FaHCSIA-chaired Indigenous Cybersafety Working Group, which provided a forum to discuss research directions in this emerging area.

Highlight 6 Child exploitation material roundtable

The AIC held a CEM roundtable in conjunction with the University of Tasmania, led by Sarah Macgregor from the AIC and Dr Jeremy Prichard (former AIC researcher, now lecturer) and Professor Kate Warner from the University of Tasmania. The forum was prefaced by an occasional seminar on 11 December 2012 presented by Dr Prichard entitled Child Exploitation and the Internet.

The meeting discussed the nature and progression in offending of CEM offenders (from image collector only, through to child physical (contact) sexual assault) and prosecution issues. Discussion also covered the occupational health issues experienced by police who were exposed to CEM material through the course of their work.

The forum was attended by members of police sex crime squads from South Australia, New South Wales, West Australian, Queensland and the Australian Federal Police, along with staff from Department of Broadband, Communication and the Digital Economy, the Australian Communication Media Authority, the Australian Centre for the Study of Sexual Assault, Victorian Department of Justice, Public Prosecutors from the Australian Capital Territory and the Commonwealth, and CrimTrac.

Criminology Research Grants program

Management and outcomes

The CRG Program’s purpose is to provide funding for criminological research that is relevant to public policy and to promote the value and use of such research.

The CRG Program (formerly the Criminology Research Fund), was transferred to the AIC following the merger with the Criminology Research Council on 1 July 2011. This merger was brought about through changes made to the Criminology Research Act 1971.

The CRG program is now managed by the AIC, with the Director making grants based on the advice and recommendations of the Criminology Research Advisory Council. The Criminology Research Advisory Council comprises representatives from Australian Government and each state and territory. In 2012–13, it was chaired by Ms Cheryl Gwilliam, Director General of the Department of the Attorney General, Western Australia. The Criminology Research Advisory Council membership is listed in the Governance and Accountability section of this report. The AIC provides secretariat services for the Criminology Research Advisory Council.

Table 3 State and territory contributions to the Criminology Research Grants Program for 2012–13
State/territory $
New South Wales 68,967
Victoria 53,134
Queensland 43,031
Western Australia 22,860
South Australia 15,652
Tasmania 4,856
Australian Capital Territory 3,538
Northern Territory 2,212
Total 214,250

Funding grants

The Guidelines for Grants, issued by the AIC to applicants, includes the following criteria adopted by the Criminology Research Advisory Council in consideration of applications:

  • public policy relevance;
  • the extent to which the proposed research will have practical application and contribute to the understanding, prevention or correction of criminal behaviour;
  • the likelihood of the proposed research making a substantial and original contribution to criminological knowledge;
  • the cost-effectiveness of the research;
  • the soundness of the design and methodology and the feasibility of the research;
  • the competence of the applicant(s) or principal investigator(s) to undertake the proposed research;
  • ethics committee approval, where appropriate;
  • availability of data, where required; and
  • the extent of funding or in-kind support obtained from relevant agencies.


In the 2012–13 financial year, the AIC contributed $214,660 (2011–12: $215,000) to the CRG program from Commonwealth appropriation for the purposes of making grants. The AIC also contributed $68,552 to administer the grants program.

State and territory governments collectively made a contribution of $214,250 (2011–12: $215,000) to that of the Commonwealth for the purposes of making grants. State and territory contributions were calculated on a pro rata population basis as shown in Table 3.

A summary of CRG income and expenditure for 2012–13 is provided in Table 4.

Table 4 Criminology Research Grants Program financial data 2012–13
Total income for making of grants $
Commonwealth funding 214,660
State and territory funding 250,357
Total income for purpose of making grants 465,017
Expenditure for grants program
Grants 422,728
Direct administration expenditure 103,203
Total expenditure 525,931
Total income for making of grants $
Commonwealth funding 68,552
Total income 68,552
Expenditure for grants program administration
Indirect administration expenditure 68,552
Total expenditure 68,552

Selection panel

A panel comprising two senior criminologists, selected by the Criminology Research Advisory Council from recommendations by the President of the Australian and New Zealand Society of Criminology, reviewed applications for general grants. The panel for 2012–13 consisted of Professor Alan Borowski and Professor Jane Goodman-Delahunty. Each panel member usually serves for two years.

Panel members are required to assess all applications for research funding submitted to the Advisory Council independently of each other and must complete an assessment sheet for each application. Their assessments are discussed at a meeting held with the AIC’s Academic Adviser to the Advisory Council, currently Mr Matthew Willis, who submits final recommendations to the Director and the Advisory Council for consideration at its November meeting.

The Advisory Council currently funds a Research Fellow, who is located within the AIC and undertakes research on projects agreed between the Advisory Council and the Director. Dr Lisa Rosevear performed the role for 12 months. Dr Rosevear resigned from the AIC in mid-2012 to take up a position at the Department of the Immigration and Citizenship. Ms Jacqueline Joudo-Larsen was appointed and commenced duty in July 2012.

New projects for 2012–13

A cybercrime observatory for Australia: A pilot database of criminal activity on the internet

Professor Roderic Broadhurst, Dr Mamoun Alazab
The Australian National University

The CRG made a grant of $75,022 for this project.

The research will assess the feasibility of creating a cybercrime observatory based on data shared by the Australian Communications and Media Authority and CERT Australia and other select non-profit organisations. We will be the first to examine and analyse the large datasets provided by these frontline agencies. The aim is to measure the prevalence, severity and mode of online criminal activity affecting Australian cyberspace. The research will also help identify attack and victim patterns, and provide the basis for further development of crime prevention strategies for cyberspace. Innovative statistical and data-mining methods will be used to explore the technical and textual data acquired.

The effect of post-release supervision on risk of reoffending

Dr Don Weatherburn, Dr Suzanne Poynton, Mr Simon Corben, Mr Simon Eyland
NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research

The CRG made a grant of $46,200 for this project.

The aim of the research is to examine the cost-effectiveness of parole supervision in reducing risk of reoffending, frequency of reoffending, seriousness of reoffending, time to reoffend and risk of re-imprisonment. This will be achieved by comparing matched samples of prisoners released without a supervision requirement (fixed-term sentences) with prisoners released under supervision. If supervision reduces the risk of further offending, it is expected that the supervised group will exhibit better outcomes post release than the non-supervised group.

Prosecuting workplace violence: The utility and policy implications of criminalisation

Dr Emily Schindeler, A/Professor Janet Ransley
Griffith University

The CRG made a grant of $39,956 for this project.

This project draws on white collar crime and regulatory approaches to establish:

  • the prevalence, types and outcomes of workplace violence prosecutions in Australia; and
  • the utility and limits of criminalisation as a response to this problem.

The project will construct a database of all prosecutions in Australia since 2004 involving injury from interpersonal or systemic workplace bullying. A typology will differentiate cases on key themes including the nature of the legal response and whether offenders were individuals or corporations. Conclusions will be drawn on barriers to prosecution, the utility of criminalisation and the appropriate nexus between criminal and workplace safety law.

Welfare and recidivism outcomes of in-prison education and training

Dr Margaret Giles
Edith Cowan University

The CRG made a grant of $70,000 for this project.

The proposed study will evaluate, using a unique linked longitudinal database, the contribution of in-prison study to ex-prisoner welfare dependence and recidivism. It will test different measures of recidivism, welfare dependence and in-prison study. Then using multivariate regression techniques, the relative impacts of factors, including in-prison study, on the recidivism and welfare dependence of ex-prisoners will be estimated. The study will provide best practice guidelines for correctional education authorities and welfare agencies regarding the specific in-prison study classes that yield the best outcomes in terms of reduced recidivism and welfare dependence.

Exploring the relationship between the use of online child exploitation materials, the use of internet-enabled technologies to procure children and contact sexual offending against children

A/Professor Tony Krone, Dr Russell Smith, Dr Adam Tomison, Ms Alice Hutchings, Ms Sarah Macgregor
University of Canberra and Australian Institute of Criminology

The CRG made a grant of $99,177 for this project.

This project aims to explore the relationship between use of online CEM, use of internet-enabled technologies to procure children and actual sexual assault. By analysing a large database of offender data with offender debriefing interviews, we aim to develop a novel typology of offenders and provide an understanding into the forensic indicators of offending typologies, the role of networking in the development of offending, the identification of possible pathways towards escalating seriousness of image-based offending and identification of relationships between image-based offending, grooming and the physical sexual abuse of children, thus informing future police procedure and policy.

Reporting victimisation to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex (LGBTI) police liaison services: A mixed methods study across two Australian states

Dr Angela Dwyer, Dr Matthew Ball, Dr Christine Bond, Dr Murray Lee, Associate Professor Thomas Crofts
Queensland University of Technology

The CRG made a grant of $16,332.75 for this project.

Relations between vulnerable LGBTI communities and police impact how, or even if, LGBTI victims report to police liaison services. This study will be the first to ask police and LGBTI communities about LGBTI police liaison services in Queensland and New South Wales. This is vital to better understand the gap between increasing awareness of LGBTI police liaison services and low rates of access of these services, and to create stronger engagement between police and LGBTI victims. To do this, the study develops and deploys a survey with LGBTI communities aged 15–65 years and qualitative interviews with LGBTI police liaison services.

Continuing projects for 2012–13

Bonds, suspended sentences and re-offending: Does the length of the order matter?

Dr Don Weatherburn, Dr Suzane Poynton
NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research

The CRG made a grant of $25,238 for this project.

The aim of this study is to further understand whether, in what circumstances and by how much the duration of a bond or suspended sentence reduces the risk of reoffending. The research will address whether the length of a suspended sentence or bond influences the risk of reoffending and whether long suspended sentences or long bonds are more effective than prison in reducing reoffending? It will further explore whether long bonds are more effective than long suspended sentences in reducing reoffending.

Grant CRG 09/11–12: Understanding the extent nature and causes of adult-onset offending: Implications for the effective and efficient use of criminal justice and crime reduction resources

Dr Carleen Thompson, Prof Anna Stewart, Dr Troy Allard, Ms April Chrzanowski
Griffith University

The CRG made a grant of $15,141.50 for this project.

This project will investigate the nature, causes and costs of adult-onset offending and assess the potential for targeting crime prevention interventions for adult-onset offenders. This will be examined using a longitudinal birth cohort of individuals born in 1983–84 who had contact with the Queensland criminal justice system to age 27 (n=54,598). It is anticipated that offending profiles and explanatory factors will differ between more and less serious adult-onset offenders and between earlier onset and adult-onset offenders. Findings will support targeting diversionary criminal justice programs to less serious adult onset offenders and reserving costly interventions for those at risk of developing serious offending patterns.

Crime in high rise buildings: Planning for vertical community safety

Dr Michael Townsley, Dr Sacha Reid, Dr Danielle Reynald, Dr John Rynne
Griffith University

The CRG made a grant of $54,900.34 for this project.

The aim of this research is to inform housing and planning policy development by exploring the variation in types and volumes of crime in a range of existing high-density communities. The methodological approach will be multi-method, comprising quantitative analysis, in-depth interviews, a systematic observational instrument and resident surveys. By analysing actual rates and types of crime, building management styles and perceptions of fear of crime, the research will reveal how policing and high-rise building management styles can coalesce to create safer vertical communities.

Preventing the onset of youth offending: The impact of the pathways to prevention project on developmental pathways through the primary years

Prof Ross Homel AO, Dr Kate Freiberg, Dr Sara Branch
Griffith University

The CRG made a grant of $60,092 for this project.

This project will conduct multivariate statistical analyses of a subset of 899 children from the Pathways to Prevention longitudinal child database to evaluate the impact of Pathways interventions on antisocial behaviour, adjustment to school and seven dimensions of positive development in late Grade 7/early Grade 8—straddling the transition to high school; a critical period for the onset of youth crime involvement.

The Pathways database is unique in combining detailed data across the primary years on patterns and intensity of child or parent involvement in Pathways interventions, with data on educational achievement (including NAPLAN), behaviour, social-emotional wellbeing and family context.

Using evidence to evaluate Australian drug trafficking thresholds: Proportionate, equitable and just?

Dr Caitlin Hughes, A/Prof Alison Ritter, Mr Nicholas Cowdery AM QC
University of New South Wales

The CRG made a grant of $49,423 for this project

One of the key measures in Australia for distinguishing drug users from traffickers and for determining the seriousness of drug trafficking offences is the quantity of drug involved. New research by two of the Principal Investigators demonstrates that, assessed against evidence of Australian drug markets, current ACT drug offence thresholds pose risks of unjustifiable or inequitable convictions. In this study, drug trafficking thresholds throughout Australian states and territories will be evaluated, taking into account interstate differences in legal thresholds and drug markets. This will identify whether consistent with ACT findings, legislative problems beset all Australian drug trafficking thresholds.

Sexting and young people: Perceptions, practices, policy and law

Dr Murray Lee, A/Prof Thomas Crofts, Dr Alyce McGovern, Dr Michael Salter, Dr Sanja Milivojevic
Sydney Institute of Criminology, University of Sydney

The CRG made a grant of $55,812 for this project.

This project is an interdisciplinary and multi-methods investigation of ‘sexting’ by young people. Three research aims link to specific methods—a quantitative online survey and qualitative interviews will be used to understand the perceptions and practices of young people in regard to ‘sexting’. A media and policy analysis will evaluate broader community perceptions about young people and ‘sexting’. A legal analysis will review the legal frameworks in relation to such behaviours. The project will facilitate an understanding of how young people perceive and practise ‘sexting’ and assess the appropriateness of existing law and policy in this area.

Determining the impact of opioid substitution therapy upon mortality and recidivism among prisoners: A 22 year data linkage study

Prof Louisa Degenhardt, Dr Lucy Burns, Dr Don Weatherburn, A/Prof Tony Butler, Dr Amy Gibson, Dr Jo Kimber, Prof Richard Mattick, A/Prof Christopher Doran, Dr Devon Indig, Dr Tim Slade, Deborah Zador
National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre University of New South Wales

The CRG made a grant of $100,000 for this project.

This study will quantify the impact of opioid substitution therapy (OST—methadone or buprenorphine) on two important outcomes for opioid-dependent prisoners—mortality, particularly in the post-release period and subsequent criminal activity. Using linked data, the study will have almost 600,000 person-years of follow-up over 22 years, allowing fine-grained analyses of disadvantaged subpopulations. This evidence cannot be obtained with accuracy from small studies or randomised controlled trials.

This study will specifically examine:

  • the impact of OST provision in prison and following release on prisoner mortality;
  • the extent to which OST reduces incidence and time of re-offence among opioid dependent persons, stratified by crime type;
  • potential differences in the impacts of buprenorphine and methadone upon the extent and timing of re-incarceration;
  • differences in duration of OST and its impact on crime and mortality among vulnerable subgroups, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and women;
  • estimated years of life lost to prison in the cohort and potential impact of OST in reducing years of life lost; and
  • cost benefits of OST in reducing crime and imprisonment among this group.

Study results will have clear implications for the health and welfare of this population, and will provide evidence of potential health and crime reduction gains, and the cost savings that might result.

Homicide and the night-time economy

Prof Stephen Tomsen, Mr Jason Payne
University of Western Sydney and Australian Institute of Criminology

The CRG made a grant of $55,332 for this project.

Australian national homicide monitoring is comprehensive. Nevertheless, key aspects of this crime are not fully understood, including the uneven long-term decline between offences occurring within distinct locations and social relations between parties. This study comprises a unique analysis of homicide, producing new quantitative and qualitative information about the full prevalence, trends and locations of killing related to aspects of the expanding night-time economy. It will advance knowledge of the range of related public and private/domestic offending to inform official strategies with more specific knowledge about levels of higher risk and the possibilities of prevention in key social settings and communities.

Classifying domestic violence perpetrators: Identifying opportunities for Intervention and prevention

Mr Jason Payne, Mr Josh Sweeney, Ms Sarah MacGregor
Australian Institute of Criminology

The CRG made a grant of $106,000 for this project.

This project seeks to identify a typology of domestic violence perpetration by triangulating officially recorded incidents of domestic violence from the Safe at Home program with descriptions of incidents and consultations with stakeholders.

The two primary concerns of the research are to determine whether groups of domestic violence offenders are identifiable in Australia and whether such typologies are relevant for practitioners in the field. This is because typological undertakings in the area of domestic violence have been limited in Australia and it cannot be assumed that international typologies will relate to the Australian experience for a range of factors such as differences in the structures of criminal justice systems, related data practices and evolving ideas about what constitutes domestic violence. Similarly, it is unclear how typologies translate into practice or policy.

For example, is it practical for a practitioner to apply a typology in their work and how can researchers assist in developing typologies that are more beneficial for the context of service delivery and policy?

Reports of completed research

Developing successful diversionary schemes for youth from remote Aboriginal communities

Dr Kate Senior, Dr Richard Chenhall, Mr William Ivory and Dr Tricia Nagel
Menzies School of Health Research

The CRG made a grant of $186,208 for this project.

This study aims to investigate youth gangs in a remote NT Indigenous community. Diversionary schemes for Indigenous youth need to be based on an evidence base for gang membership’s negative effects (substance misuse, crime and violence) and positive effects (high self-esteem, low rates of self-harm and suicide). This three-year longitudinal project, utilising mixed method methodologies, will gain an in-depth understanding of youth gang membership and more broadly the aspirations and life goals of the youth involved. In close association with an Indigenous run diversion project, the most appropriate diversionary activities for Indigenous youth will be investigated.

Community variations in hoax calls and suspicious fires: Geographic, temporal and socio-economic dimensions and trajectories

Dr Jonathan James Corcoran, Dr Michael Townsley, Dr Rebecca Leigh Wickes, Dr Tara Renae McGee
The University of Queensland

The CRG made a grant of $45,015 for this project.

Malicious hoax calls for service and suspicious fires are a significant burden to the community, financially and in the potential danger they present, yet little is known about the dynamic associated with their prevalence. This research will comprehensively examine these offences using unit-level location data supplied by the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service.

The aim of this research is to identify the temporal and spatial patterning of malicious hoax calls for service and suspicious fires. Analysis will use advanced methods of geographic visualisation and spatially based temporal modelling. Understanding the patterning of these offences will provide the foundation for future crime prevention activities.

CRC 44/10–11: Reoffence risk in intrafamilial child sex offenders

Professor Jane Goodman-Delahunty, Professor Stephen C. Wong
Charles Sturt University

The CRG made a grant of $26,233 for this project.

The Violence Risk Scale—Sexual Offender version includes dynamic and static factors. It has the potential to contribute significantly to recidivism risk assessment by predicting sexual violence, identifying treatment targets and evaluating treatment change. This study tests the validity and reliability of the Violence Risk Scale—Sexual Offender, previously validated on incarcerated Canadian extrafamilial sex offenders, in an Australian sample of 214 intrafamilial sex offenders in a community-based setting.

Findings will have implications for practice (use of the instrument for this population), theory (increased knowledge about sex offender typologies) and policy (viability of legislated pre-trial diversion program for biological/non-biological parents who commit child sex offences).

CRC 38/10–11: Understanding criminal careers: Targeting individual and community based interventions to reduce Indigenous overrepresentation

Dr Troy Allard, Ms April Chrzanowski, A/Prof Anna Stewart
Griffith University

The CRC made a grant of $48,181 for this project.

The project will adopt a criminal careers framework and determine:

  • differences in the nature and cost of offending trajectories across the youth and adult justice systems based on Indigenous status and gender; and
  • whether the spatial distribution of offender groups and the cost of these groups is a useful approach for targeting community crime prevention interventions.

The project involves construction and analyses of a Queensland-based offender cohort, which includes all contacts that individuals born in 1990 have had with police cautioning, youth justice conferencing, youth court and adult court to age 20 years. Trajectory models will be produced using the Semi-Parametric Group-based Method, with separate models based on Indigenous status and gender. It is anticipated that Indigenous offenders will have different offending pathways than non-Indigenous offenders, the chronic Indigenous offender group will be more costly than other groups and the spatial distribution of offender groups will facilitate targeting of community based interventions to particular locations.

CRG 24/07–08: Analysis of supervision skills of juvenile justice workers

A/Prof Chris Trotter & Prof Gill McIvor
The CRC made a grant of $154,105 for this project.

An increasing body of research suggests that some interventions with offenders can reduce reoffending. While little of this research has focused on the impact of routine supervision of offenders on probation, parole or other community-based orders, a few studies have found that when supervisors make use of certain skills those under their supervision offend less often. This study involved the direct observation of 117 worker/client interviews conducted by juvenile justice workers, with a view to examining the extent to which effective practice skills were used. It found that workers were strong on relationship and pro-social modelling skills but not as strong on problem solving, role clarification or Cognitive Behavioural Therapy skills. It found like the earlier studies generally done with adults, that the more workers used effective practice skills the less young people under their supervision reoffended. It also found that workers given a counselling role made more use of the effective practice skills than other workers.

The National Drug Law Enforcement Research Fund

Management and outcomes

NDLERF is funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing as part of its commitment to the National Drug Strategy. In June 2010, the AIC was awarded a four year contract by Department of Health and Ageing to manage and administer the NDLERF grants program.

NDLERF contributes to the prevention and reduction of the harmful effects of licit and illicit drug use in Australian society by:

  • enabling research that leads to high-quality, evidence-based drug law enforcement practice;
  • facilitating experimentation and innovation; and
  • enhancing strategic alliances and linkages between law enforcement personnel, human services providers and research agencies.

The NDLERF Advisory Board of Management sets the strategic priorities for funding and allocating funds for research projects that offer a practical contribution to operational or policy-level drug law enforcement activities in Australia. The Advisory Board also reviews and approves the progress and finalisation of funded research.

The 2012–13 program saw a total of nine new research grants awarded during the year at a total value of $1.391m. The program further funded nine projects from previous years and continued to support two existing contracts with total expenditure of $1.809m.

The functions performed for this program by the AIC include:

  • administration of grants money;
  • coordination of open funding application rounds;
  • monitoring of the progress of individual research projects through the establishment of project reference groups;
  • editorial support and publication of reports detailing outcomes of NDLERF-funded research;
  • administration and support of the NDLERF Advisory Board through the services of a Research Officer and an NDLERF Scientific Advisor; and
  • facilitation and coordination of Advisory Board activities and communication.
Table 5 Publications released under the NDLERF program in 2012–13
Patron offending and intoxication in night time entertainment districts (POINTED). Associate Professor Peter Miller, Dr Amy Pennay, Nicolas Droste, Dr Rebecca Jenkinson, Prof Tanya Chikritzhs, Prof Stephen Tomsen, Phillip Wadds, Prof Sandra C Jones, A/Prof Darren Palmer, Lance Barrie, Dr Tina Lam, William Gilmore & Prof Dan I Lubman, 2013. Monograph series 46
Examining the relative cost effectiveness of different types of law enforcement directed towards methamphetamine. Alison Ritter, David Bright & Wendy Gong, 2012. Monograph series 44
Dealing with alcohol-related problems and the night time economy. A/Prof Peter Miller, Jennifer Tindall, Anders Sønderlund, Daniel Groombridge, Christophe Lecathelinais, Karen Gillham, Emma McFarlane, Florentine de Groot, Nicolas Droste, Amy Sawyer, A/Prof Darren Palmer, Dr Ian Warren & A/Prof John Wiggers, 2012. Monograph series 43
To assess the utility of obtaining human profiles from drug seizures. LA Burgoyne, DEA Catcheside, P Kirkbride & C Pearman, 2012. Monograph series 42
Evaluating the deterrent effect of Random Alcohol Breath Testing (RBT) and Random Saliva Drug Testing (RDT). Dr Katherine Papafotiou Owens & Inspector Martin Boorman, 2012. Monograph series 41
Impacts of public drinking laws. Amy Pennay, Elizabeth Manton, Michael Savic, Michael Livingston, Sharon Matthews & Belinda Lloyd, 2013. Research Bulletin series 1

Highlight 7 Australian Crime and Violence Prevention Awards 2012

The AIC manages the annual ACVPA with Director, Dr Adam Tomison, chairing the Selection Board.

On 1 November 2012, seven ground-breaking projects that substantially reduced local crime rates were honoured at an award ceremony at Parliament House, Canberra.

Dr Tomison, representing the Minister for Home Affairs and Justice, Jason Clare, presented three awards totalling $50,000 to outstanding community-based projects that prevent or reduce crime and four non-cash awards to police crime prevention programs.

The three community-led projects winning a certificate and cash award of $20,000 or $15,000 came from Victoria, New South Wales and the Northern Territory

Banksia Gardens Community Connections (Vic)—This project addresses systemic problems of violence, low educational attainment and poor access to health services on the Banksia Gardens Estate in Victoria. Measures have led to a 46 percent reduction in crime on the estate.

The Women in Prison Advocacy Network’s (WIPAN) Mentoring Program (NSW)—Being released from prison can be a troubling time, which can lead to reoffending by some vulnerable individuals. The NSW WIPAN mentoring program has been a successful female prisoner reintegration program to mentor and reconnect women within the community after release.

North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency (NAAJA) Indigenous Prisoner Throughcare (NT)—Funded by AGD, this successful program assists Aboriginal prisoners with pre- and post-release rehabilitation. This is an intensive program aimed at reducing recidivism and reintegrating Aboriginal prisoners with their community.

Four National Police winning projects came from New South Wales, South Australia and Queensland:

South Australia Offender Management Plan (SA)—This multi-agency initiative case manages adult offenders to reduce their offending patterns and assists them with counselling, healthcare and housing, among other issues. This is done in conjunction with law enforcement compliance measures.

Reduce alcohol-related crime and violence in the Newcastle City Local Area Command (NSW)—This program has had a long inception, with the police building a case for change, together with pressure from policing and related authorities to change licensing arrangements in the area. These new regulations resulted in a reduction in all alcohol-related crime-type incidents.

Queensland Early Intervention Pilot Project (Qld)—This program sends any youth intercepted by police on an alcohol-related offence to a free Alcohol Education Awareness session with a health provider.

Vulnerable Persons Strategy (Qld)—This is a successful Queensland Police targeting strategy, working with vulnerable persons in the Brisbane CBD and assisting those people who are offenders into changing their lives through programs that build their capacities and that also build up trust in first response police.


Banksia Gardens award winners Georgia Dougall and Nick Mac Hale with AIC Director Dr Adam Tomison

Communications and Information Services


The AIC conducts innovative, evidence-based research in crime and justice, and is an important repository of criminological research and knowledge for a worldwide audience. Once research is completed, the AIC works to effectively disseminate new findings. The role of CIS is to facilitate the transfer and adoption of this knowledge so that the AIC can meet its goal of informing policy and practice.

A communications team of five, along with four JV Barry Library staff, provide an integrated service in disseminating criminological knowledge on a range of platforms. The transition to social media in 2010 has broadened the AIC reach considerably and uptake of new technologies such as eBook formats has allowed access to publications in new formats designed for digital platforms.

More than 2,000 AIC journal articles, reviews and reports are lodged on the AIC website, along with over 100 video seminars, hundreds of conference presentations and multiple links to relevant non-AIC criminological databases. The website carries a wealth of criminological knowledge developed over the 40 years of the AIC’s existence.


The AIC communicates new knowledge developed by both AIC researchers and external authors. The regular AIC publication formats are the foundation of this dissemination. Because of the large volume of publications AIC produces, they are generally designed, edited and typeset in-house.

The AIC has two peer-reviewed flagship publication series—Research and Public Policy series and Trends & Issues in Crime and Criminal Justice—researched and written by AIC and external authors. These publications are produced with core AIC funding, CRG grants and using other funding sources.

Other publication categories in the AIC program include:

  • Monitoring reports—regular reports from AIC monitoring programs that capture data across Australia on a range of crime and justice issues.
  • Technical and Background papers—technical reports containing statistical and methodological material produced as part of the AIC research process.
  • Australian Crime: Facts & Figures—an annual compendium providing a statistical overview of the most recent national information on crime in Australia, serving as a ready-reference resource, with a related online tool for testing a variety of datasets.
  • Research in Practice—fact sheets, tip sheets and case studies from evidence-based research for practitioners in the criminal justice field.
  • Brief—the AIC’s stakeholder newsletter summarising recent AIC research and activities, published in-house and distributed electronically.
  • Publications published in 2012–13 by the AIC are listed in Table 6.

In 2012–13, the AIC released 24 peer-reviewed and 61 non–peer reviewed publications (including other academic papers, handbooks, as well as contracted research reports) and met all communication and publication KPIs as stipulated by government (see Table 7).

While the number of peer-reviewed publications remained at 24, non–peer reviewed publications have increased as the AIC put resources into consultancy and contract work such, as evaluations and technical development of state/territory programs.

Table 6 Publications produced by the AIC in 2012–13
Publication type n
Research and Public Policy series 5
Trends & Issues in Crime and Criminal Justice 19
Monitoring reports 2
Technical and Background papers 8
Australian Crime: Facts & Figures 1
Research in Practice 6
Brief 1
Table 7 Products and KPI targets by year
Product type KPI 2011–12 2012–13
Peer-reviewed publications 23 24 24
Other publications, including articles in external journals 38 57 61
Events—conferences, seminars, workshops, roundtables 10 27 24

Peer review and publications process

All submissions are subject to a rigorous review process before they are accepted for publication. Drafts are reviewed by senior research staff and undergo external double-blind peer review. All publications are then reviewed by the Director and are edited to conform to the AIC publishing style, promoting clear and understandable research.

The AIC has been recognised by the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research as an accredited publisher eligible to receive university funding under its higher education research data collections specifications. This accreditation covers the peer-reviewed Trends & Issues in Crime and Criminal Justice and Research and Public Policy series. The AIC gratefully acknowledges all those who performed peer reviews during the year.

The publications team also prepares NDLERF reports, which released five monographs, a research bulletin and one jointly branded Trends & Issues in Crime and Criminal Justice paper with the AIC during the year.

A full list of AIC publications is provided in Appendix 1. Articles and papers by staff in non-AIC publications are listed in Appendix 2.

Changes to the publication processes

All reports continue to be made freely available online and all new publications conform to Whole of Government Accessibility Guidelines compliance level AA. The AIC has moved its publications to primarily an online format and has reduced hardcopy print runs. In 2012–13, Monitoring reports were printed for library stock only and Research and Public Policy series were printed on an ‘as needed’ basis. The only standard publications that now receive a significant print run are the AIC Annual Report and Australian Crime: Facts & Figures.

The AIC continues its contract with Sydney University Press for print on demand of Research and Public Policy series, Monitoring reports, special reports and other publications that may warrant sale. A print and delivery arrangement is available from the AIC website or the Sydney University Press online bookshop.

The advent of ePublication has driven a further change in publication format. Research and Public Policy series, Monitoring reports and Trends & Issues in Crime and Criminal Justice are now also available for ePub download on smartphones and tablets conforming to either Apple or Android formats.

Highlight 8 Conference, forum and seminar program

A core part of the AIC’s dissemination role is to develop conferences on various areas of criminology, often in partnership with other organisations.

3rd Student Criminology Forum—July 6 2012

Over 40 students attended the 2012 Student Forum, a free event for students studying criminology, policing or related subjects.

The 2012 Student Forum program was reframed to include four participatory workshops with AIC staff, as well as presentations in the traditional seminar format. The AIC participatory workshops covered:

  • DUMA—Recent findings and methodologies;
  • People Trafficking in Australia—Recent findings and methodologies;
  • Indigenous justice—Interventions and community safety, what’s working and what’s not; and
  • Fraud and scams—Recent research reports and methodologies.

The 2012 forum was rated excellent by 81 percent of those who completed the feedback survey, with the remaining 19 percent rating it good.

Australasian Youth Justice Conference—May 2013

In partnership with AJJA, the AIC held its first Australasian Youth Justice Conference at the Canberra Convention Centre with the theme of Changing Trajectories of Offending and Reoffending on 20–22 May 2013. More than 250 people attended a program of keynote speakers and over 60 concurrent papers workshops and symposia.

The Keynote presenters were:

  • Professor Mark Halsey, Law School, Flinders University;
  • Judge Andrew Becroft, Principal Youth Court Judge of New Zealand;
  • Mr Juan Tauri, Lecturer, School of Justice, Faculty of Law, Queensland University of Technology;
  • Dr Raymond R Corrado, Simon Fraser University;
  • Dr Tracy Westerman, Managing Director, Indigenous Psychological Services; and
  • Professor Kerry Carrington, Head, School of Justice, Faculty of Law, Queensland University of Technology.

This was a highly successful event with universally positive feedback. Some of the evaluation comments included

“I would love to see this conference become a biannual event. There is no doubt this is the best youth justice focused conference I have ever attended and I would love for it to become a regular event. There was a perfect mix of academics, researchers, and practitioners. Best conference I have attended in some time!”

“There was a good mixture of attendees and papers from policy, practice and academic fields. This was one of the key strengths of the conference.”

“The Conference was excellent and had fantastic coverage of interesting and thought provoking topics.”

As a result, the AIC is considering hosting the event on a biennial basis.

Dr Tracy Westerman

Dr Tracy Westerman

judge Andrew Becroft

Judge Andrew Becroft

Highlight 9 CriminologyTV

The AIC continues to integrate its communications platforms. The platform of CriminologyTV, the AIC’s YouTube TV channel, is a successful showcase—particularly as download speeds and viewing capacity has improved.

The AIC has taken full advantage to upload a suite of material including all occasional seminars and keynote addresses at conferences, along with a trove of criminological information in lecture form, which is now being viewed around the world. Seminars and keynote addresses are edited, and slides and videos incorporated into each presentation.

While actual subscriber numbers are a poor indicator for CriminologyTV, the number of downloads has increased markedly.

From the inception of CriminologyTV in March 2010, until 30 June 2013, there have been 42,537 views of presentations. In the 2012–13 financial year, there were 14,556 views, which is 34 percent of all views over the three year period of operation. In terms of audience demographics:

  • 47 percent of viewers are female and 53 percent male;
  • the majority of viewers fall in the 35–64 year age bracket;
  • 67 percent of the views were on a PC or laptop, but 13 percent were on a mobile device, a trend that is mirroring the general increased use of smartphones as viewing platforms; and
  • the majority of viewers were from English speaking countries—Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada.

The top five downloads were:

  • The internet and child exploitation material (Dr Jeremy Prichard);
  • Juvenile justice in Australia (Dr Kelly Richards);
  • Sentencing and offending (Professor Mark Kleiman);
  • 10 myths about terrorist financing (Bill Tupman); and
  • The challenges of use of force in policing (Professor Geoffrey Alpert).

CriminologyTV screenshot

Screenshot of the AIC’s YouTube channel, CriminologyTV

National Drug Law Enforcement Research Fund

The AIC works closely with the NDLERF Board to manage this publication process which results from the $1.8m grants program.

Last year, NDLERF released two already influential research reports led by researchers from Deakin University—Dealing with Alcohol-related Problems and the Night Time Economy (DANTE) and Patron Offending and Intoxication in Night Time Entertainment Districts (POINTED). The reports analysed violent and alcohol-related offence prevalence and crime prevention solutions across Australia. POINTED was launched at the 6th Australasian Drug & Alcohol Strategy Conference run by ANZPAA in Sydney in March 2013.

Both the DANTE and POINTED reports were ground breaking in nature. AIC CIS provided media and marketing services and advice to the authors.

Occasional seminar series

The AIC occasional seminar series is a public seminar series, featuring crime and justice experts across a wide range of topic areas. The series is publicised through AIC subscriber channels and the website.

All public seminars are subsequently featured on the AIC’s CriminologyTV site.

The AIC has increased the number of occasional seminars held over the recent period, with the events attracting an increasing number of interested participants from external agencies and research institutions.

In the 2012–13 financial year, 10 seminars were held (see Table 8).

Table 8 Occasional seminars at the AIC
Professor Geoffrey Alpert, University of South Carolina. The challenges of use of force in policing. July 2012
Mr John Masters. Waking the sleeping tiger: Criminal prosecution for institutional and corporate non-compliance. August 2012
AIC Deputy Director (Research) Dr Rick Brown. The role of financial investigation in tackling organised crime: Findings from England and Wales. September 2012
AIC Research Officer Mr Kiptoo Terer. Best practice guidelines for drink driving enforcement and prevention. September 2012
Dr Angela Higginson University of Queensland. Faces of fraud: An analysis of serious and complex fraud against Australian Commonwealth agencies. October 2012
Dr Jeremy Prichard University of Tasmania. The internet and child exploitation material: Why we need to get smart(er) about demand reduction. December 2012
Sebastian Baumeister UN office of Drugs and Crime. The different faces of migrant smuggling in South-East Asia. 31 January
Professor Mark Kleiman UCLA. Towards smarter corrections. February 2013
AIC staff, Anthony Morgan and Hayley Boxall. Getting the most out of alternative dispute resolution: Lessons from the child protection experience. April 2013
Dr Anne Aly, Curtin University. Winning hearts and minds: Communicative acts of terrorism and counter terrorism. June 2013
Dr Natalie Gately, Edith Cowan University. Inside the mind of a burglar. July 2013

Anne Aly Screenshot


The Australian media is crucial to the broad dissemination of AIC research. It brings issues into the public arena, highlights crime problems, raises public awareness about crimes such as internet scams and dispels myths (such as the perception that crime is on the rise).

During the year, the Minister for Home Affairs and Justice published eight press releases on AIC criminology publications and the AIC released a further 18 on publications and AIC conferences. The AIC has been broadening its media engagement through social media and pre-written media friendly articles. In 2012–13, it had the highest interaction with media outlets and highest media release output for the past four years, with staff participating in 140 interviews.

The AIC also engages with the media to attract community participation in its annual online fraud survey and promote its conferences. In 2012–13, there was heavy media traffic on:

  • the release of the 20th Anniversary Deaths in Custody Monitoring Report (May 2013) and ancillary reports on fatal pursuits and shootings of people with mental illness;
  • interviews coinciding with the Youth Justice Conference (May 2013);
  • firearms issues (across the year); and
  • cybercrime and scams (across the year).
Table 9 Media requests for information and interviews
Year Requests Interviews AIC media releases Ministerial media releases Total media releases
2012–13 390 140 18 8 26
2011–12 311 114 14 8 22
2010–11 209 82 19 6 25
2009–10 333 166 8 10 18

Figure 2 Media inquiries to the AIC by financial year (n)

Figure 2

Social and online media

The AIC has strongly embraced the potential of social media to more widely disseminate its work (and effectiveness as a national resource) to the broader community. A major development was the building of the AIC’s Facebook and Twitter sites, both of which have a worldwide following and often engender robust online discussions, and direct information delivery to criminology students.

As the world moves toward the increased use of tablets, smartphones, online lectures and seminars and other video products, the AIC takes pride in being at the forefront of this transition to ensure that its product is read, seen and heard. In 2012–13:

  • email subscribers increased by 16 percent to 3,487;
  • Facebook followers increased by 35 percent to 3,221;
  • Twitter followers increased by 79 percent to 2,111; and
  • the 104 seminars on CriminologyTV have had more than 14,556 views, with an average monthly viewing rate of 1,200.
Table 10 Social media subscribers by year
2010–11 2011–12 2012–13
Twitter followers 371 1,178 2,111
Facebook likes 1,509 2,378 3,221
Email subscribers 2,318 2,998 3,487

Figure 3 Social media uptake

social media uptake

Highlight 10 Indigenous Justice Clearinghouse

The Clearinghouse was developed after the Council of Australian Governments’ request to ensure that research findings and good practice in addressing Indigenous crime and justice issues are communicated to policymakers and practitioners. Key research is summarised in a series of research briefs and current initiatives papers written for the Clearinghouse and a database of relevant reports and datasets has been compiled for stakeholder use. The AIC has three members on the Indigenous Justice Clearinghouse Working Group and provides all library support services for the Clearinghouse, including adding material to the database and hosting the website. The AIC also advises on research papers and work programs for the collection.

During 2012–13, the AIC library added 129 records to Clearinghouse, including the three commissioned Research Briefs and Current Initiatives papers. These papers are designed to bring research findings to policymakers and covered the topics—Indigenous Justice Agreements, Sentencing of Indigenous women and conducting research with Indigenous people and communities.

Clearinghouse banner


The AIC website, as well as several ancillary sites, were rebuilt or upgraded during the year.

The AIC’s flagship website ( was rebuilt to enhance flexibility, download time and accessibility for plug-ins. This has substantially decreased page load times across a variety of browsers, averaging 38 percent faster than when the site was in the previous content management system. The AIC server response time was made 80 percent faster and the upgrade included site-wide fixes to improve usability of the AIC research online.

The popular Facts & Figures Online was rebuilt in-house using the AIC branding with enhanced data and graphic platforms allowing for quicker updates when the statistics are refreshed.

Other website developments include an extension to the CP ASSIST site to create a Crime Prevention Online Community facility and the development of a HOCOLEA research group extranet, which will be launched in 2013–14.

Work continued on the WCAG accessibility parameters with the 2012 benchmarks being met.

Table 11 2012–13 web reach
Page views 2,682,130 15.12% increase
Visitors 702,955 28.4% increase
Visits 1,059,307 21.68% increase

Figure 4 Website page views by year (n)

Figure 4

Web hosting

The AIC is a partner in the Indigenous Justice Clearinghouse (see Highlight 10) and manages its website. The Institute also hosts and manages the NDLERF and CrimeStoppers websites as part of a commitment to the dissemination of criminological knowledge. The AIC is currently planning to upgrade the NDLERF site as part of its management of the site.

AIC web reach

New research and social media broadcast continue to increase the use of the AIC website as researchers, journalists and the public use the site. In 2012–13, there was a 15.2 percent increase in page views with more than 2.5 million views and over 1 million visits. The website continues to maintain its criminological reputation as one of the five best in the world for comprehensive information on crime and justice matters (US Department of Justice).

Highlight 11 Sandy Hook Elementary School Massacre


On 14 December 2012, the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre occurred in the US state of Connecticut, resulting in the shooting deaths of 20 children and six staff. It provoked a massive domestic debate in the United States about gun laws. In the heat of the debate during the following months, there were worldwide citations of AIC research and gun crime statistics around the issues of gun control, due to the precedent of the Australian gun buy-backs in 1996 and 2002–03, and consequent AIC research on their efficacy in controlling gun crime.

The AIC website received 15,000 page visits from US users between 15–21 December 2012 (even exceeding the Australian total of 12,000) and far exceeding the 4,400 US visits in 2011. The following month, the site received 20,404 visits from the United States, compared with 3,000 in 2012; a 444 percent increase.

Stories using AIC data were syndicated through hundreds of outlets. Bloggers, mostly in the United States also used the research in both sides of the gun control debate. Gun control advocate, Associate Professor Philip Alpers, who addressed the New York gun violence summit on 14 January 2013, used AIC material to correct misperceptions and our findings were also included in an editorial page article in the New York Timesby former Prime Minister John Howard on 17 January.

Not only did the anti-gun advocates use AIC statistics, but so did the National Rifle Association gun lobby; however, their use was challenged vigorously by an article in the online publication, The Conversation.

In Faking Waves: How the NRA and Pro-gun Americans Abuse Australian Crime Stats, Michael J Brown started off by a quote from Joyce Lee Malcolm in the Wall Street Journal:

In 2008, the Australian Institute of Criminology reported a decrease of 9% in homicides and a one-third decrease in armed robbery since the 1990s, but an increase of over 40% in assaults and 20% in sexual assaults.

Brown went on to say:

The implication is gun control has increased assaults and sexual assaults. This is completely misleading.

Weapons (including knives) are only used in 13% of assaults and 2% of sexual assaults in Australia. Firearms are rarely the weapon used, and only 0.3% of assaults in New South Wales used firearms.

Firearm use is almost completely irrelevant to assault and sexual assault in Australia, and cannot be driving changes in these crimes. Suggesting otherwise is deceptive.

Two of the most popularly downloaded articles around that period last year were Firearm-related Deaths in Australia, 1991–2001 T&I no. 269 and Trends in Violent CrimeT&I no. 359—elements of which were used by the pro-gun lobby to bolster their case.

Library and information services

The AIC’s JV Barry Library plays a key part in the AIC’s role as the national knowledge centre on crime and criminal justice through its provision of library services to practitioners, policymakers, academics, students and the general public. Library staff also offer fundamental support to AIC researchers, particularly by anticipating their research requirements and proactively sourcing new and authoritative material.

Services for stakeholders

The library maintains and promotes a significant specialist criminology information collection for the nation. Services that inform the sector include:

  • maintaining and developing the CINCH database;
  • providing links to new external information sources through the AIC website;
  • alerting subscribers by email and RSS feed to developments in their subject areas;
  • responding to enquiries from an array of law enforcement and justice personnel, researchers, other practitioners, students and the public; and
  • providing hardcopy and electronic materials through national and networked interlibrary loan schemes (lending considerably more than is borrowed).

Additions to the CINCH database and Libraries Australia were consistent with 2011–12, with efforts to strengthen the specialist nature of the print and online collection. The first five e-books were added to the collection, facilitating ease of access for researchers. Initially these e-books were viewable via the Internet or local server storage, however since May, an iPad has been dedicated for this purpose. Growing demand from researchers and availability from suppliers will see more e-books purchased in the future

CINCH—the Australian Criminology Database

The CINCH bibliographic database is compiled and maintained by the AIC’s Information Services staff. The database is one of the family of index databases for which access is provided by Informit (see for more information). CINCH aims to include all new material about crime and criminal justice in Australasia—books, reports, journal articles, websites, conference proceedings and papers—with high-quality subject indexing and abstracts.

CINCH records are also available in the JV Barry Library’s catalogue on the AIC website. At the end of June 2013, the database contained 61,684 records. During the year, 1,243 records were added and over 4,000 records were updated greatly enhancing the integrity of the database. CINCH has been established for 40 years and is very well known to university students and academics in particular, as the key compendium for Australian criminology and criminal justice literature. Australian subscribers to CINCH include 44 academic institutions, 16 government departments, the Parliamentary Library, the National Library of Australia and all State Libraries. On the international scale, subscribers to the Australian Criminology Database includes, but is not limited to Queen’s University Belfast, University of York (United Kingdom), University of Auckland, University of Massachusetts, University of Michigan, The British Library, New Zealand Ministry of Justice and Justice Canada.

The slightly lower number of significant inquiry responses for 2012–13 reflects fewer queries generated by internal researchers. The large increase in additions to CINCH and monograph collection records in 2011–12 reflected a one-off large data entry project undertaken by the library. The additions for CINCH and monographs in 2012–13 remain consistent and slightly above the long-term collection development targets. The decrease in items loaned to other libraries reflects the increase in the AIC’s digital collection (available online), with over 60 percent of monograph acquisitions now in digital format.

Table 12 Library activity, 2012–13 and 2011–12
Activity 2011–12 2012–13
Inquiry responses <15 mins 1,179 1,199
Inquiry responses >15 mins 451 448
Records added to CINCH 1,629 1,243
Monographs added to collection 660 627
Original records to Libraries Australia 371 473
Journal articles supplied by other libraries 122 153
Journal articles supplied to other libraries 555 508
Items loaned to other libraries 139 116
Items borrowed from other libraries 24 61
Alerts titles disseminated 16 17

Networking across sectors

In 2012–13, over 800 loans and article copies were exchanged through the interlibrary loans service. Partner libraries from agencies in the law enforcement, university, government, health and community sectors maintain strong reciprocal networks and the AIC is a member of the Libraries Australia Document Delivery service. This service minimises duplication of resources while maximising the effectiveness and specialisation of library collections across the nation.

The library contributes news from Australia and overseas to the CrimNet email discussion list for criminal justice researchers, practitioners and policymakers in Australia. It also gives notice of new AIC publications and events to Australian Policy Online and through other email discussion lists and the World Criminal Justice Libraries Network. Further, as a member of the Australian Government Libraries Information Network, the library promotes AIC research and provides professional input in the national information management arena.

The Library Manger presented a well-received paper entitled The JV Barry Library: 40 Years of Collaboration at the Australian Libraries in the Emergency Sector Annual General Meeting in March.

In May, the Library Manager visited the Radzinowicz Library of the University of Cambridge’s Institute of Criminology. Meeting with counterparts and exchanging professional expertise is a valuable continuation of well-established collaborations in the criminal justice library network. Professional visitors to the JV Barry Library this year have included librarians and information specialists from the Queensland Crime and Misconduct Commission, ComCare, Australian Crime Commission, the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity and Defence. The Australian Libraries and Information Association executives were given a lengthy tour of the library and profiled our team and services in an issue of the Australian Library and Information Association professional journal—Incite.

Contributions are also made to most of the Institute’s conferences, forums, visiting delegations and seminars with library presentations, tours and training, tailored subject alert handouts, information booth hosting and other liaison activities.

Table 13 Information awareness alert email subscriptions by topic at 30 June 2013
Information subject alert Subscribers 2011–12 Subscribers 2012–13
All 561 908
Alcohol and violence 126 248
Child abuse and protection 123 241
Community safety 48 174
Crime prevention 227 368
Crimes against the environmenta 0 47
Cybercrime 116 221
Drugs and crime 180 307
Evaluation 148 230
Financial crime 100 164
Homicide 90 170
Indigenous justice 118 202
Juvenile justice 128 238
People trafficking 120 213
Recidivism and desistance 130 244
Serious and organised crime 166 290
Victims of crime 126 235

a: Launched in September 2012

Stakeholder and public inquiries

The JV Barry Library is the first point of contact for telephone and email enquiries from external stakeholders and the public.

In 2012–13, library staff responded to an average of 30 requests per week, which required literature searching, guidance to AIC web-based statistics and information sources, referrals to supporting agencies and responses to questions.

The majority of external responses that came through the front desk phone and email service were to stakeholders (35%) and members of the public (25%). Most of the more extensive responses (over 1 hour) reflected stakeholders’ recognition that the AIC can assist with complex subject matters.

External requests for Library and Information Services sectoral breakdown for 2012–13:

  • law enforcement, justice and corrections (30%);
  • public (25%);
  • university academics and students (22%);
  • community, public health (13%);
  • law, business and others (10%).

Examples of these types of external enquires in 2012–13 were:

  • a researcher from the Canadian Ministry of Justice seeking supervision standards in the community for serious violent offenders, domestic violent offenders and sex offenders;
  • a Member of the South Australian Legislative Council needing urgent comparative state violent crime statistics;
  • a doctoral student wanting the latest national and state vehicle theft figures;
  • a policymaker from AGD requesting research relating to fines;
  • a documentary maker requiring historic criminology books about Sydney in the middle of the 19th century;
  • investigators from the Australian Defence Force seeking expertise and literature sources for crime and antisocial behaviour reduction in their demographic;
  • a Queensland Health department officer looking for research on regional drug use;
  • a NSW police officer seeking research on fugitives;
  • a sTOCk protection officer from a major hardware chain needing statistics on retail theft, handling of stolen goods and fraud; and
  • an officer from the South Australian Department for Correctional Services seeking recidivist domestic violence offender and victim data.

Finally, the support given by the library to AIC researchers illustrates the value of having specialist information on hand to significantly accelerate research productivity. In 2012–13, this included 86 literature searches. The library catalogue also allows staff to create their own loans and area of interest alerts, and interactively submit requests to the library for literature research support. Library staff further support the corporate knowledge base through the creation and maintenance of centralised Intranet registers for research projects, datasets and tenders.

Crime and justice awareness alerts

Contemporary, evidence-based information is disseminated to thousands of practitioners and policymakers worldwide via monthly emailed crime and justice information alerts (see Table 13). This free service is received by over 1,500 individual subscribers, whose numbers increased by approximately 90 percent during the year as a result of marketing.

A new Crimes Against the Environment alert was launched in September 2012 and is already well accepted in the field.

Unique datasets

The AIC acquires or creates datasets for many of its research projects; it added seven new datasets to the database during the year, bringing the total to 146 datasets. These are all captured and made available to AIC staff through the intranet, using the library database as an interface. The data collected can be used to deliver other client data services where appropriate and will be used for further analysis in future research projects.

Reach and influence

The AIC has a profound influence on criminological research and policy development across multiple jurisdictions, nationally and internationally. Crime and justice researchers and practitioners, international organisations and parliaments continue to utilise AIC publications published in the 1970s and through to the most recent 2012–13 publications. Appendix 4 lists a sample of external citations of AIC research works in 2012–13.

Table 14 The top 10 Trends & Issues in Crime and Criminal Justice titles logged by Proquest
Title Author Usage
Print Media Reporting on Drugs and Crime, 1995–1998 Michael Teece 5,068
The Psychology of Fraud Grace Duffield 2,381
The Pathways to Prevention Project: Doing Developmental Prevention in a Disadvantaged Community Ross Homel 1,555
(Mis)perceptions of Crime in Australia Brent Davis 569
Misperceptions about Child Sex Offenders Kelly Richards 399
Children’s Exposure to Domestic Violence in Australia Kelly Richards 364
Crime Victimisation in Australia: Key Findings of the 2004 International Crime Victimisation Survey Holly Johnson 256
Police Diversion of Young Offenders and Indigenous Over-representation Troy Allard 214
Experiences of Crime in Two Selected Migrant Communities Holly Johnson 211
Date Rape: A Hidden Crime Laura Russo 179
Table 15 The top 10 Trends & Issues in Crime and Criminal Justice titles disseminated through CENGAGE GALE International Learning database
Titles Author(s) Views
Mental disorder prevalence at the gateway to the criminal justice system L Forsythe & A Gaffney 569
Child sexual abuse and subsequent offending and victimisation: A 45 year follow-up study J Ogloff et al. 440
Youth justice: Oral language competence in early life and risk for engagement in antisocial behaviour in adolescence P Snow & M Powell 407
Organised crime and trafficking in persons F David 371
Improving crime prevention knowledge and practice P Homel 323
How much crime is drug or alcohol related? Self-reported attributions of police detainees J Payne & A Gaffney 307
Misperceptions about child sex offenders K Richards 219
The trafficking of children in the Asia–Pacific J Joudo Larsen 188
Mental health, abuse, drug use and crime: Does gender matter? K Adams & L Forsythe 171
Effective community-based supervision of young offenders C Trotter 163

Distribution and reach of publications

In addition to producing timely and relevant research for the law and justice sector, the AIC facilitates understanding through knowledge transfer across a range of legal and criminological areas.

ProQuest, GALE and Ebsco are database providers that host a large range of information products to academic, school, public, corporate and government agencies around the world and their distribution of AIC material gives an indication of the reach. Their statistics show that the AIC Trends & Issues in Crime and Criminal Justice series are referenced and downloaded by educational institutions around the world. While Ebsco is not able to provide a breakdown by separate titles, it was reported that 28,214 abstracts and 13,505 full-text downloads of Trends & Issues in Crime and Criminal Justice articles were made for the year.

Proquest revealed nearly 33,000 downloads, a 43 percent increase in usage from 2011–12 in 50 different countries, mostly by the academic and government sectors in Australasia and the United States.

Dissemination through CENGAGE GALE International Learning database revealed a total of 7720 views of the Trends & Issues in Crime and Criminal Justice series for the year, a slight decrease on last year.

The reach of the AICs information distribution systems is worldwide. Alerts about publications and events are distributed through the Communications section via email subscriber lists, RSS feeds, Twitter and Facebook.

The maps (see Figures 5 & 6) clearly shows that the main take-up of AIC materials is English-speaking countries, but there is also a great deal of interest in AIC work throughout Europe, South America and Africa.

In Australia, the subscriber lists across all platforms are reflected against the most heavily populated states.

Figure 5 Multi-platform subscribers: Global

World Map

Figure 6 Multi-platform subscribers: Australia

Multi-platform subscribers  Australia figure

Highlight 12 AIC-generated headlines 2012–13

News headlines image



The appropriation efficiency measures experienced by the AIC over the past few years have resulted in a number of changes to the delivery of outcomes in 2012–13. These included:

  • a significant restructure of the DUMA program and further reductions in the amount of data collected; and
  • a review of Research structure, resulting in the restructuring of the research teams from four to three.

Since 2011–12, as a result of the transition to the FMA Act, the AIC’s depreciation and amortisation is no longer funded by departmental operating appropriations from government. Instead, replacement of fixed assets is funded from department capital appropriations through the Department Capital Budget. In 2012–13, the AIC sought and received approval by the Finance Minister to extend the amount of the AICs operating loss in excess of depreciation. The additional loss position was approved for the current and four outer years in order to expend cash reserves tied to the CRG Program. For 2012–13, the AIC also requested that the loss amount include provision for redundancy payments.

The AIC’s operating result for 2012–13 was a deficit of $300,662 (2011–12: deficit of $193,110) against a revised budget deficit position of $445,000 published in the AIC’s Portfolio Budget Statements 2013–14. The operating loss is covered in full by the AIC’s cash reserves.

Operating revenue

The total operating revenue was $8,375,126 (2011–12: $9,615,263) and consisted of the following:

  • government appropriations of $5,311,000;
  • sale of goods and rendering of services of $1,562,733;
  • royalties of $53,114; and
  • grant program contributions of $1,410,530
  • other income of $2,749.

Revenue from government appropriations decreased by a net amount of $121,000 from 2011–12. Decrease to revenues from government was the result of a series of efficiency dividends throughout the year.

Revenues from the rendering of services decreased by $899,105 from 2011–12. The decrease was due to the reduced availability of funding for research within agencies at both the state and federal levels. The decrease was also contributed to by the AIC not running high-profile external conferences during the year (as a result of timetabling two large-scale events in early 2013–14).

Operating expenditure

The total operating expense was $8,675,778 (2011–12: $9,808,373) and consisted of the following:

  • employee costs of $5,004,901;
  • supplier expenses of $2,196,145;
  • grants expenses of $1,370,972;
  • depreciation and amortisation of $93,893; and
  • write down of assets and losses on assets disposals of $9,877.

Expenditure in 2012–13 was $1,132,585 below expenditure in 2011–12 and resulted from reductions in contractor payments, in particular for the DUMA program data collection, which was suspended for six months during 2012–13 and a reduction in the level of conference expenses for the year. There was also a significant reduction in the level of grants expenditure, which was more a result of timing than the size of the grant programs.

Employee benefits (less redundancy payments) and supplier expenses both declined from 2011–12 as a direct result of the whole of government departmental efficiency measures. This resulted in the AIC having to reduce staff numbers from an average 50.38 in 2011–12 to an average 47.64 in 2012–13.

The AIC intends to maintain its staffing level at around 50 full-time equivalents, by exploring additional fee-for-service research project work to offset the reduced appropriation funding position.

Balance sheet

Net asset position

The net asset position at 30 June 2013 was $2,367,289 (2011–12: $2,616,281).

Total assets

Total assets as at 30 June 2013 were $5,989,173 (2011–12: $6,243,821). The small decrease in assets was due primarily to a decrease in cash holdings mostly as a result of additional grant payments, expenditure of cash previously recognised as unearned income and additional payments for staff redundancies.

Total liabilities

Total liabilities at 30 June 2013 were $3,621,884 (2011–12: $3,627,540). The difference is mainly due to a decrease in the level of unearned income recognised under the AIC’s secretariat contracts. Major liabilities include prepayments received/unearned income of $1,876,644 and employee provisions of $944,158.

For detailed analysis, please refer to AIC financial statements.