Rethinking community sanctions in the C21st

Prof. Julie Stubbs1, Prof Chris Cunneen2, Prof Eileen Baldry1, Ms Melanie  Schwartz1, Prof David Brown1
1UNSW Sydney, Kensington , Australia, 2University of Technology Sydney , Sydney , Australia

Accounts of community sanctions continue to be influenced by the decarceration/net-widening debates prominent in the 1980s, and by a false dichotomy between prison and liberty.  However, within the 21st century penal landscape, the forms and uses of community sanctions appear to challenge conventional temporal, spatial and political boundaries. For instance, preventive and risk-based logics applied across the criminal justice system unsettle ideas about the timing, duration and legitimacy of forms of control, eroding constraints on pre-trial and post-release interventions. New orders combine prison-based and community- based control in distinctive ways.  Shifts in funding models and competitive tendering arrangements reshape the relationships with, and blur the boundaries between, government and non-government sectors.  This paper draws on preliminary findings from a study of community sanctions in Australia, taking these developments into account to rethink the place of community sanctions in contemporary Australia.


Julie Stubbs is a Professor and co-Director of the Centre for Crime, Law & Justice at UNSW Law School.  She is currently undertaking ARC funded research on community sanctions in Australia (with Baldry, Brown, Cunneen & Schwartz). Her recent publications include Justice reinvestment: Winding back imprisonment (Brown et al 2016) and Australian Violence (Stubbs & Tomsen 2016).

Chris Cunneen is a Professor at Jumbunna Institute  for Indigenous Education & Research. He has a national and international reputation as a leading criminologist specialising in Indigenous people and the law, juvenile justice, restorative justice, justice reinvestment, policing, penology and prison issues, and human rights. His recent books include Indigenous Criminology (Cunneen,  & Tauri 2016) and Justice reinvestment: Winding back imprisonment (Brown et al 2016).


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