The Australian Institute of Criminology operates under the Criminology Research Act 1971. The Act provides for the appointment of a Director of the Institute and a Board of Management. The Attorney-General may request the Institute to conduct research projects and conferences, and may require the Board to ensure that priority is given to such work.
The functions of the Australian Institute of Criminology are listed in section 6 of the Criminology Research Act and are summarised as follows:
- to conduct criminological research matters specified by the Attorney-General;
- to conduct criminological research which is approved by the Board;
- to communicate to the Commonwealth and the States the results of research conducted by the Institute;
- to conduct seminars and courses of training or instruction for people engaged, or to be engaged, in criminological research or in work related to the prevention or correction of criminal behaviour as specified by the Attorney-General or approved by the Board;
- to advise the Criminology Research Council on needs for, and programs of, criminological research;
- to provide secretarial and administrative services for the Council;
- to give advice and assistance on any research performed wholly or partly with moneys provided from the Criminology Research Fund;
- to give advice on the compilation of statistics relating to crime;
- to publish such material resulting from or connected with the performance of its functions as is approved by the Board; and
- to do anything incidental or conducive to the performance of any of the foregoing functions.
The responsible Minister is the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, the Honourable Daryl Williams AM QC MP.
As a statutory authority whose work aims to inform government decisions that contribute to the promotion of justice and the prevention of crime, the Institute's corporate strategies are to:
- provide all stakeholders with timely criminal justice information services;
- disseminate information in a variety of formats using conventional means and innovative technological processes;
- inform government, the media, and the general public of issues relating to the work of the Institute;
- demonstrate accountability for professional and administrative performance through transparent management processes and better evaluation measures;
- improve the cost effectiveness and efficiency of Institute operations; and
- respond flexibly and quickly to change and improvement initiatives.
The Institute is organised into three groups: Research, Information Services, and Administrative Services. The basic structure is shown at figure 1.
Social Justice and Equity
The Institute has a strong commitment to social justice and equity. This is evident in the contribution which it makes through its research activities and its dissemination of information in various formats and fora. It is also apparent in the policies which apply to AIC staff and to the way the Institute itself operates.
For more information on the functions and organisation of the Institute, contact the Executive Officer Research, Ms Merril Thompson.