Perpetual Punishment in NSW

Dr Mindy Sotiri1
1Community Restorative Centre, Broadway, Australia

This paper will explore perpetual punishment in the context of leaving prison in NSW, with a particular focus on policies impacting on housing, employment and social connection post-imprisonment. It will argue that a confluence of discriminatory policies and practices, siloed government approaches to recidivism, and a continued over-reliance on a criminogenic RNR framework within criminal justice agencies, combine to make the possibility of genuinely building pathways outside of the criminal justice system extraordinarily difficult (regardless of the personal motivation or readiness of people at the point of release). Drawing on recent research conducted by the Community Restorative Centre (including data tracking of CRC clients post-participation in programs between 2012 and 2016) and  utilising multiple case-studies from CRC’s transitional programs, a road-map for successful reintegration will be proposed.  It is suggested that this roadmap includes; people with lived experience front and centre of conversations about ‘what works’, community led reintegration, and service delivery which transparently places the structural predictors of recidivism at the heart of service delivery design.


Biography:

Mindy Sotiri (PhD, BSW) is the Director of Research, Policy and Advocacy at the Community Restorative Centre in Sydney. She has worked as a social worker, advocate, researcher and activist in the community sector for the last twenty years. For most of this time she has focused on the criminal justice system, reintegration and post-release.

Monsters in Our Midst: Exploring Regulation and Control in Communities Notified About Sex Offender Release

Miss Jordan Anderson1
1Victoria University Of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand

Community notification policy and practice has expanded across the advanced liberal democracies, far beyond the initial bounds set out in Megan’s Law in the United States in 1994. In New Zealand, where notification is not legislated, communities are often informed about the presence of sex offenders in ad hoc and unpredictable ways, triggering a range of fear based responses. This paper explores the reactions of the Ōtāhuhu community to the 2018 media revelation of sixteen sex offenders residing on one street in the South Auckland suburb. Drawing from interviews with a range of community leaders, the paper considers whether the nuances of the community reaction, in particular the depth of insecurity and range of proposed ‘sensible’ solutions, are typical of lived experiences of risk control and regulation in neoliberal societies.


Biography:

Jordan is currently undertaking her PhD in Criminology at the Institute of Criminology at Victoria University of Wellington. Her research focusses on risk and dangerousness in modern society, with particular attention to post-sentence regulation of sex offenders in New Zealand. Jordan’s research interests include punishment and offender regulation, sentencing, and youth justice.

 

Criminal records, discrimination and Aboriginal communities: enhancing employment opportunities

Bronwyn Naylor1, Georgina Heydon2
1Graduate School Of Business And Law, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia, 2School of Global, Urban and Social Studies, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia

Criminal record checking is now widespread in Australia.   Aboriginal people are disproportionately represented in the criminal justice system, for a range of reasons including historic levels of disadvantage, and therefore are disproportionately likely to be negatively affected by criminal record checking when seeking employment, when taking on community governance roles, when being considered as kinship carers and so on.  At the same time, productive and rewarding employment, and engagement in governance and community roles, are vital aspects of Aboriginal people’s participation, contribution and engagement across all parts of the Australian community.

This paper presents findings from research with employers, employment agencies and government organisations in WA and the NT about their practice, protocols and experience in managing the potential impact of a criminal record on Aboriginal employment.  The paper identifies four key elements which can give rise to good employment practice: broad engagement with Aboriginal communities; management of background checking; supporting applicants through the recruitment process; and positive risk management strategies.


Biography:
Bronwyn Naylor is Professor of Law in the Graduate School of Business and Law, RMIT University, and has degrees in Arts and Law from Monash University, and a Doctorate in Criminology from Cambridge University.   She has been teaching, researching and publishing in criminal law and criminal justice for over 20 years, and has researched and written extensively. including with colleagues, on the impact of criminal records on the rehabilitation of ex-offenders.

Associate Professor Georgina Heydon (Social and Global Studies Centre, RMIT University) specialises in qualitative interviewing, and has published numerous academic papers and a book on the topic of interviewing and information gathering in legal contexts.

Over the last ten years, she has been collaborating with colleagues in law and criminology to examine critically the ways in which criminal records are used in employment contexts.

 

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.


Biography:
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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