The lived experience of men convicted of sexual offences who are subject to intensive community supervision in Queensland

Danielle Harris1
1Griffith Criminology Institute, Mt Gravatt, Australia

In Queensland, Australia, approximately 100 men have been released from prison under the Dangerous Prisoners (Sexual Offenders) Act 2003. This legislation provides for intensive community supervision and rather punitive offender management measures including electronic monitoring, residence restrictions, and curfews. Although not bound by the same level of intensity or scope of the memorial legislation that is more commonplace in the United States, many of the technical requirements of supervised release are the same in Australia. The main distinction, however, is that the Australian registry of individuals convicted of sexual offenses is maintained and accessed only by law enforcement. Without a publicly available online registry or community notification, the lived experience of men convicted of sexual offenses and returning to the community is quite distinct. This presentation addresses the similarities and differences in the legislation across multiple jurisdictions in two otherwise fairly similar Western countries. The lessons we might learn from the desistance processes demonstrated by men in each country are examined and wider policy implications are discussed.

Danielle Arlanda Harris is the Deputy Director-Research of the Griffith Youth Forensic Service and a Lecturer in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Griffith University. She holds a doctorate in Criminology from Griffith University (2008), a Masters in Criminology and Criminal Justice from the University of Maryland (2004) and a Bachelor of Arts (hons) in Justice Studies from the Queensland University of Technology and the University of Westminster (2001). She has published more than 25 articles and book chapters and has given over 50 presentations at international conferences. Her research examines sexual aggression through a life course perspective, examining onset, specialization/versatility, desistance, and related public policy. Her study of civilly committed sex offenders in Massachusetts was funded by the Guggenheim Foundation and she recently received a grant from the California Sex Offender Management Board for a state-wide survey of community supervision practices. Her first book—which draws on the narratives of 74 men convicted of sexual offenses and released from custody—was released in December.



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