A queer criminal career

N.L. Asquith1*, A.Dwyer2, P. Simpson3

1 Associate Professor of Policing and Criminal Justice, Western Sydney University; Research Associate, Tasmanian Institute of Law Enforcement Studies, University of Tasmania; N.Asquith@westernsydney.edu.au
2 Associate Professor of Policing, and Senior Research Fellow, Tasmanian Institute of Law Enforcement Studies, University of Tasmania
3 Research Fellow, The Kirby Institute, University of New South Wales

It is widely acknowledged that young people are over‐represented in Western criminal justice institutions. While the focus of academic research in Australia is rightfully on the significant over‐representation of Indigenous young people, another vulnerable group of young people continues to be unnoticed: lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, and queer (LGBTIQ) young people. Despite young lesbian and bisexual women’s over-representation in the CJS is comparative to that of young Indigenous offenders, the needs of LGBTIQ young people continue to be ignored in policing and criminal justice processes, and their experiences are rarely considered in policy and practice development (Curtin 2002, Irvine 2010). Importantly, how LGBTIQ young people embody non-heteronormative and non-cisnormative identities can lead to over-policing (Dwyer 2011; Rogers, Asquith & Dwyer, forthcoming) and increased attention from criminal justice institutions (Feinstein et al 2001). The contradiction between their over-policing and over-punishment, and their under-representation in criminal justice policies and practices is a significant gap in queer criminology and criminological investigations more generally. This paper considers the existing research and policies deployed against LGBTIQ young people, and identifies the critical issues requiring attention from Australian criminal justice agencies.


Nicole L Asquith is the Associate Professor of Policing and Criminal Justice at Western Sydney University, Research Associate with the Sexualities and Genders Research Network, University Associate with the Tasmanian Institute of Law Enforcement Studies and Co-Director of the Vulnerability, Resilience and Policing Research Consortium. Nicole’s research is focussed on the policing of vulnerable people.

Angela Dwyer is the Associate Professor of Policing at the University of Tasmania, and Senior Research Fellow with the Tasmanian Institute of Law Enforcement Studies. Angela’s research agenda includes LGBTIQ people’s engagement with frontline police, and the queering of criminology.

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