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HomeReports → 2011-2012

CRC funded reports

2011/12

Summaries of these reports are given below. These reports are held by the Australian Institute of Criminology's JV Barry Library and are available on inter-library loan. For full bibliographic information on any report, search the Library's Catalogue.

  1. Oral language competence and interpersonal violence: Exploring links in incarcerated young males
  2. Child Sexual Abuse and Subsequent Offending and Victimisation: A 45-year Follow-up Study
  3. Amphetamine use among detainees at the East watch house: what is the impact on crime?
  4. Targeting crime prevention: Identifying communities which generate chronic and costly offenders to reduce offending, crime, victimisation and Indigenous over-representation in the criminal justice system
  5. Addressing the “crime problem’’ of the Northern Territory Intervention: alternate paths to regulating minor driving offences in remote Indigenous communities

Oral language competence and interpersonal violence: Exploring links in incarcerated young males

Pamela Snow and Martine Powell

Criminology Research Grant: CRG 10/08-09

Oral language competence is a basic prerequisite for functional and prosocial development across the lifespan, but has been inadequately investigated in young people in whom behaviour disturbance is the dominant concern. A cross-sectional examination of one hundred (100) young offenders (mean age 19.03 years, SD = .85) completing custodial sentences in Victoria, Australia was carried out. Participants were assessed on a range of standardised oral language, IQ, mental health and offending-severity measures. Language measures were selected for their sensitivity to a range of everyday linguistic competencies, such as listening comprehension, the ability to define words, and to understanding of everyday idioms and other forms of non-literal language. Forty-six percent of participants were classified as language impaired (LI), using this definition.  When the subgroup with high offending scores was compared with those with (relatively) lower offending scores, significant differences on a range of language measures were identified. A range of early risk indicators (such as placement in Out of Home Care) was also examined with respect to language impairment in this high-risk group. Implications for intervention practice and policy are identified.

Child Sexual Abuse and Subsequent Offending and Victimisation: A 45-year Follow-up Study

Margaret C Cutajar, James RP Ogloff, Paul E Mullen

Criminology Research Grant: CRG 13/09-10

This 45-year follow-up study examined the rate and risk of subsequent offending and victimisation in 2759 child sexual abuse (CSA) victims compared to the general population through data linkage to a Victoria Police database. While the majority of CSA victims do not develop to offend or be victims (77% and 64% respectively), they are a significant at risk group relative to the general population, being 4.97 and 1.14 times more likely to be charged with and be the victims of any offence, respectively. Highest risks were associated to violent and sexual offences, with the risk for sexually offending accounted for by male victims abused at an older age.

Amphetamine use among detainees at the East watch house: what is the impact on crime?

Natalie Gately, Jennifer Fleming, Robyn Morris, Catherine McGregor

Criminology Research Grant: CRG 50/09-10

Amphetamines have been increasingly available on the Australian drug markets since the early 1990s with a recent increase in clandestine laboratory detections as well as seizures by the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and Customs. The present study compared data from the Western Australian (WA) arm of the Drug Use Monitoring in Australia (DUMA) project from 1999 to 2009 with statistics on reported crime and drug seizures in WA. The DUMA dataset yielded a total of 6993 usable cases which were categorised by self-reported use in the preceding 30 days and amphetamine positive urinalysis as offending amphetamine users or non-users. Self-reported indicators of amphetamine use were moderately to strongly correlated with objective indicators of use. Detainees self-reported amphetamine use was also associated with crimes against property and drug-related crime, whereas detained amphetamine non-users were more likely to commit public order offences, sexual offences and abduction/harassment related offences. The profile of amphetamine using offenders did not differ considerably to the overall detainee population, however relative to amphetamine non-users, amphetamine users generally were more likely to be non-Indigenous, female, single, less educated, unemployed, first arrested prior to 18 years of age, previously have used a range of other illicit drugs, and consume less alcohol. Overall, all indicators of amphetamine use pointed to a slight general downward trend in amphetamine consumption since 2000, prior to which there was a general upward trend. A moderate correlation was found between amphetamine seizures and self-reported amphetamine use at a three-quarterly time lag. Overall it was recommended that similar research is conducted in other Australian states in order to make national comparisons. It was also recommended that greater resources are put into amphetamine supply reduction through increases in police operations targeting clandestine laboratories and general drug seizures. Reducing the supply of amphetamines may sequentially decrease the proportion of property offences committed in Western Australia.

Targeting crime prevention: Identifying communities which generate chronic and costly offenders to reduce offending, crime, victimisation and Indigenous over-representation in the criminal justice system

Troy Allard, April Chrzanowski, Anna Stewart

Criminology Research Grant: CRG 38/10-11

This study drew on methods and findings from criminal careers and place-based research to explore whether some communities generated chronic and costly offenders. The offender cohort used included all individuals born in 1990 who had contact with police cautioning, youth justice conferencing, youth court or adult court in Queensland when aged 10 to 20 years old (N = 14,171). The Semi-Parametric Group-based Method (SPGM) was used to identify distinct offender trajectories and their costs were assessed using a methodology that incorporated criminal justice system, social and economic costs of crime. The geographic distribution of chronic offenders and their total cost was explored based on their first recorded postal code. Findings indicated that the top 10% of postal codes where high proportions of the population were chronic offenders accounted for 20.5% of chronic offenders. The top 10% of most costly locations accounted for 40.4% of the chronic offenders, 47.0% of offences committed by chronic offenders, 50.5% of the total cost of chronic offenders and 35.2% of the total cost of all offenders in the cohort. Many of these locations had a high proportion of Indigenous youth, were in remote or very remote locations and experienced high levels of disadvantage. These findings highlight the urgent need for early/developmental interventions to be made available to reduce offending and for other place-based approaches to be used to reduce crime and victimisation in these communities.

Addressing the “crime problem’’ of the Northern Territory Intervention: alternate paths to regulating minor driving offences in remote Indigenous communities

Thalia Anthony, Harry Blagg

Criminology Research Grant: CRG 38/09-10

This study examines the incidence of Indigenous driving offending in the Northern Territory since 2006 and assesses the effectiveness of law enforcement in addressing this crime. It seeks to ascertain alternative forms of regulating driver safety and whether they are better suited to Indigenous communities. In doing so, it identifies some of the major reasons for offending. It is particularly concerned with driving offences that have increased dramatically since 2006, including driving unlicensed and driving unregistered and uninsured cars.

 

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