Crime Prevention: more than graffiti removal and lighting dark corners.

Dr Peter Norden1

1Deakin University, Melbourne, AU,

2Norden Directions, BENTLEIGH, Australia

As our national prison population continues to grow at more than 4 times the normal rate of population growth, it is time to consider substantial and sustained crime prevention measures.  This would truly involve ‘Justice Reimagined’.

A serious reduction in our prison population cannot be achieved without a significant investment in funds allocated to proven crime prevention methods.  Such an approach would result in substantial savings in future decades.

Crime prevention measures are urgently required to stop the constant flow of residents of Australia’s most disadvantaged neighbourhoods being sucked into the ever expanding (private) prison estate at a cost of over $110,000 per inmate.

For too long we have pretended that small scale grants from State, Territory and Local Governments to improve lighting and remove graffiti from public spaces is what crime prevention is about.

Effective crime prevention measures will be carefully planned, multi dimensional and sustained over 10 -15 years to successfully turn the tide.

Based on recent research completed by the late Professor Tony Vinson AM, this paper will summarise how such a change of direction can be achieved and how prisons across the country could be focused solely on addressing serious criminal behaviour that poses a risk to community safety.


Peter Norden is a Fellow of the Australian and New Zealand Society of Criminology and an Honorary Fellow in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Deakin University.

Having had extensive direct work experience in most areas of the Australian criminal justice system, he has focused his attention in the last 20 years on crime prevention and criminal justice reform.

In 2007, he was made an Officer in the Order of Australia (AO) ‘for services to community development through social research and programs aimed at assisting marginalised young people and offenders and to the mental health sector in Australia’.

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