Posts Categorised: Corrections

Australia’s criminal justice costs: an international comparison


Collins beach/PaperMonkey

“Overall, there is reason to believe that Australians are receiving worse value for criminal justice spending than many other countries. Australians report their concern about crime, governments respond by hiring more police, and this feeds through the system to increased incarceration and higher costs. But the original problem – Australians’ perception of crime – persists. Either the increased spending is not preventing the growth of crime, or it is failing to reassure the public of their safety, or both. This report underscores the need for criminal justice reform in Australia.”

Source: Institute of Public Affairs (2017) and available from this link (open access).

Cost-benefits of a domestic abuse program for Australian offenders

Dawn/G. Griffin

“Group interventions for domestically violent (DV) offenders can provide good investment returns to tax payers and government by reducing demand on scarce criminal justice system resources. The study provides insights into justice costs for DV offenders; a methodological template to determine cost benefits for offender programs and a contribution to cost-effective evidence-based crime reduction interventions.”

Source: Blatch, C., Webber, A., O’Sullivan, K.  van Doorn, G. (2017).  Journal of Criminological Research, Policy and Practice, 3/1, available from this link (subscription journal).

Therapeutic programs in prisons

Golden morning in Manly/Flickr

“Timely access to prison-based therapeutic programs can be a factor in parole refusal and can potentially exacerbate overcrowding in the prison system. The audit looked at a selection of moderate and high intensity programs that aim to reduce reoffending by addressing addiction, violence, domestic abuse, sex offending and general offending.”

Source: Audit Office of NSW and available from this link (open access).

Interagency Performance Targets: A Case Study of New Zealand’s Results Programme

Manly Beach/Flickr

“New Zealand has been a beacon for government reforms for almost three decades. While the New Public Management Reforms of the late 1980s made agencies more efficient and responsive, they also created a new problem; agencies struggled to organize effectively around problems that crossed agency boundaries. New Zealand undertook a new round of reform in 2012 to address ten important and persistent crosscutting problems.”

Source: Scott, R. & Boyd, R. (2017). IBM Center for the Business of Government and available from this link (open access).

Criminal justice system – reliability and integration of data

Blue Groper/Flickr

“In this audit we examined how well Queensland’s criminal justice entities capture, report and use data, ensuring its reliability and integration across the justice system.
‘Criminal justice system entities’ (for the purpose of this report) include the Queensland Police Service and the Department of Justice and Attorney-General, through its Queensland Courts Service, Queensland Corrective Services, and Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions. ”

Source: Queensland Audit Office and available from this link (open access).

Recidivism among prisoners: Who comes back?



“This study examined recidivism in an Australian correctional population. Three different groups of offenders were identified from their recidivism profiles: low-risk or slow recidivists, moderate-risk or delayed recidivists, and high-risk or rapid recidivists. ”

Source: Fitzgerald, R., Cherney, A. & Heybroek, L. (2016). Trends & issues in crime and criminal justice no. 530 and available from this link (open access).

Youth justice in Australia 2015–16

Manly Beach surfing/Flickr

“There were about 5,500 young people (aged 10 and older) under youth justice supervision in Australia on an average day in 2015–16, due to their involvement, or alleged involvement, in crime. This number has decreased by 21% over the 5 years to 2015–16. Around 4 in 5 (82%) young people under supervision on an average day were male. Most (84%) young people were supervised in the community and the remainder were in detention. Indigenous young people continued to be over-represented in the youth justice system: young Indigenous people were 17 times as likely as non-Indigenous young people to be under supervision on an average day.”

Source: AIHW (2017) and available from this link (open access).

Report on Government Services 2017

Manly sunset/Flickr

The annual Report on Government Services (RoGS) provides information on the equity, effectiveness and efficiency of government services in Australia.  The Justice volume C includes performance reporting for Police services, Courts and Corrective services and the Emergency management volume D includes performance reporting for Emergency services for fire events. From the 2017 Report, Ambulance services is now reported in Volume E Health.

Source: Australia. Productivity Commission (2017). Available from this link (open access).

Exemplary prisoner management



“This paper focuses on the initiatives of a few idealistic prison managers in different countries who at different times braved the punitive tide to apply reformative principles. In support, it cites a growing number of compelling research studies from prisons and other places of confinement that bear on fair custodial management.”

Source: Taylor, A. J. W., & Rynne, J. (2016). Australian & New Zealand Journal of Criminology, and available from this link (subscription journal).

Categories: Corrections

Challenging spiralling remand in custody rates: what legal and procedural changes can address the trend?



“Adult remandees enjoy a presumption of innocence, yet thousands of them find themselves incarcerated often for months at a time despite their remaining unconvicted. Given that there are almost 10,000 Australian prisoners who are currently in custody because they have been refused bail, there has been a renewed focus on custodial remand policies and procedures by academics, practitioners and policy-makers alike.”

Source: Sarre, R. (2016). Journal of Criminological Research, Policy and Practice, 2(3), and available from this link (subscription journal).