Dear friends of VSS
Welcome to the June edition of Crime Victim e-news.
A new Home Detention Bill, introduced in to Parliament by the Attorney-General in September 2015, recently became law. The Bill amends the Criminal Law (Sentencing) Act 1988 and the Correctional Services Act 1982 such that:
- a court will have the ability to order that a period of imprisonment be served on home detention (under a home detention order) in place of a custodial sentence;
- a home detention order will now be a sentencing option where a court has determined that a sentence of imprisonment must be imposed and there does not exist good reason to suspend that sentence, but the offender is considered to be a suitable candidate to serve the period of imprisonment on home detention;
- the paramount consideration of a court in determining whether to make a home detention order must be the safety of the community;
- a home detention order is intended to be a sentencing option for an offender who has been individually assessed as posing a low risk of causing harm to the community or of reoffending.
The Bill also amends the Correctional Services Act 1982 to expand current home detention programs and removes the requirement for prisoners to serve 50 percent of a non-parole period (or total sentence where no non-parole period is fixed) before being eligible for release on home detention, as well as removing the limitation that prisoners can only spend a maximum period of 12 months on home detention. All other eligibility criteria for release on home detention remain in place, with life sentenced prisoners, sex offenders and terrorist offenders remaining ineligible.
Research suggests that victims are more open to the use of alternatives to custody than is widely supposed, but that they also have serious misgivings about their effectiveness. The new laws pose an age-old challenge to policy makers – to demonstrate to victims of crime that community sentences are robust and credible and to ensure their voices are heard. Unfortunately, experience to date suggests that victims shouldn’t expect increased participation in criminal proceedings to come hand-in-hand with the new laws.
First Response program
In partnership with South Australia Police, VSS are piloting the First Response program in Western Adelaide between March and June 2016. First Response provides practical advice, information and emotional support to victims of property crime. Victims of property crime living in Port Adelaide Enfield, City of Charles Sturt, and City of West Torrens are eligible for First Response services. Find out more about First Response
and how you can get involved as a volunteer
VSS Support Group
An eight-week facilitated support group for male survivors of childhood sexual abuse commences in Adelaide on Tuesday 26 July 2016. Places are limited. More information can be found here
View the June edition of Victim Support Service’s quarterly newsletter “Victims Voice” here
Child Protection – see also Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse
Substantiation decision-making and risk prediction in child protection systems
Emily Keddell, Policy Quarterly, Institute for Governance and Policy Studies, 2016
This New Zealand article looks at predictive risk modelling and its suggested use in the child welfare environment and concludes that “the real problem is that we need ‘more resources and more interventions’ rather than better ways to identify risky individuals”. (-IGPS)
Child abuse and neglect: a socio-legal study of mandatory reporting in Australia (report prepared for the Tasmania Department of Health and Human Services)
B. Mathews, L. Bromfield, K. Walsh, G. Vimpani, Department of Social Services, 2016
Explores trends in the reporting of child abuse and neglect by different reporter groups in every Australian state and territory, in the context of their relevant jurisdictional legislation.
The expert panel project: towards better outcomes for families
Elly Robinson, Marian Esler, Family Matters, 2016
Outlines the different methods by which an expert panel will provide advice and support to the families and children's sector, activities undertaken in the first year of the project and future initiatives.
The cost of youth homelessness in Australia: research brief
D MacKenzie, P Flatau, A Steen, M Thielking, Swinburne Institute for Social Research, 2016
Examines the cost of youth homelessness in Australia and outlines the economic and social benefits that could be gained by adopting tailored early intervention strategies and policies.
Domestic Violence - see also under Aboriginal issues
‘Support a Friend' campaign
1800RESPECT has launched the 'Support a Friend' campaign to help Australians recognise the signs someone may be experiencing domestic violence and how best to support them. The website features an informative video and infographic including a practical list of do's and don'ts
when supporting someone.
Stop it at the start
(National Campaign to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children)
This national campaign combines a suite of resources with strong messaging that violence begins with disrespectful attitudes that are promoted and accepted from early on in life. The campaign aims to help break the cycle of violence by encouraging adults to reflect on their attitudes, and have conversations about respect with young people.
Commonwealth of Australia
Tasmania Law Reform Institute, 2016
This paper proposes a service for people with complex communication needs involved in the Tasmanian criminal justice system to enhance their ability to gain equal access to justice.
Successes and unintended consequences of the Northern Territory’s smoke-free prisons policy: results from a process evaluation
M Hefler, R Hopkins, D P Thomas IN Public Health Research & Practice, 2016
In 2013, the Northern Territory was the first Australian jurisdiction to introduce a smoke-free policy for all correctional facilities. This paper identifies what worked well, key challenges and unintended consequences.
Establishment of a National Integrity Commission: interim report
Senate Select Committee on the Establishment of a National Integrity Commission, 2016
The Select Committee was established to inquire into whether a national integrity commission should be established to address institutional, organisational, political and electoral, and individual corruption and misconduct.
Independent National Security Legislation Monitor annual report 2014-2015
Roger Gyles, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (Australia), 2016
This is the first annual report from the current Independent National Security Legislation Monitor, Roger Gyles, who has been tasked with assessing the appropriateness and effectiveness of Australia's national security legislation.
Youth justice in Australia 2014–15
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2016
This bulletin examines the numbers and rates of young people who were under youth justice supervision in Australia during 2014-15 because of their involvement or alleged involvement in crime.
New South Wales recorded crime statistics 2015
Derek Goh, Stephanie Ramsey, NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, 2016
Presents data on crime reported to, or detected by, the NSW Police Force from January 1995 to December 2015, with a focus on the statistical trends for the 24 months ending December 2015.
An update of long-term trends in violent and property crime in New South Wales: 1990-2015
Derek Goh, Stephanie Ramsey, NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, 2016
Analyses the trends in the rates of annual recorded incidents of ten categories of property and violent crime for the period 1990 to 2015 in NSW.
Beyond Blue, 2016
Beyond Blue summarises key components of the Commonwealth reforms.
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse
Issues Paper 11: Catholic Church Final Hearing, has been released, giving all interested parties the chance to provide input prior to a final public hearing into the Catholic Church in February 2017. Submissions are due by 1 July 2016
J Goodman-Delahunty, A Cossins & N Martschuk for the Royal Commission, 2016
This study investigated the extent to which joint trials with cross-admissible tendency evidence infringed defendants’ rights, and the extent to which joint trials posed a risk of unfair prejudice to the defendant.
Carolyn Adams, Macquarie University & Krista Lee-Jones for the Royal Commission, 2016
This study aimed “to identify aspects of information sharing frameworks that facilitate appropriate and timely information sharing between institutions and across jurisdictions to identify, prevent and respond to child sexual abuse in institutional contexts; or impede or limit such information sharing.“ (-The authors)
Prepared by the Parenting Research Centre for the Royal Commission, 2016
“The purpose of this review is to support the Royal Commission’s work in developing recommendations for both preventing institutional child sexual abuse and improving institutional responses to this type of abuse.” (-RCIRCSA)
The Royal Commission is holding a public hearing in Sydney from Tuesday, 21 June 2016 commencing at 10:00am AEST. The public hearing will inquire into the experiences of men and women who were sexually abused as children in certain divisions of the defence forces.
The Royal Commission has published submissions from individual victims and survivors, service providers, statutory bodies, government agencies and peak bodies to its issues paper on advocacy and support and therapeutic treatment services.
New Publications in the VSS Resource Centre
Block, Stanley H, 2014.
This workbook utilizes the authors’ effective mind-body bridging technique. It includes easy-to-use self-help exercises that will help you to stop identifying with anxious thoughts and feelings while allowing your body to relax and let go of unconscious tension.
Can we trust our memories? A groundbreaking look at how memory is constructed and how influential memories are on our present state of being.
A website to empower Australian women to take control of their online experiences. It includes resources to help women manage technology risks and abuse.
Office of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner
A South Australian guide and checklist to assist workers and individuals identify key organisations to be considered and contacted to assist in protecting an individual's privacy. These can help protect individuals experiencing family / domestic violence and/ or stalking.
Women's Information Service SA
Indigenous Justice Clearinghouse
A clearinghouse to promote discussion and disseminate relevant Indigenous justice information to government policy makers and those working in the Indigenous justice field.
Australian Institute of Criminology
Get to know anxiety
This Beyondblue campaign raises awareness of anxiety as 1 in 5 believe people with anxiety ‘put it on’ to avoid uncomfortable situations.
This is an Australian first smartphone app designed to help reduce suicide deaths.
The number of Australian men taking their lives is increasing, according to new Australian Bureau of Statistics data, and beyondblue hopes its new BeyondNow app will help reduce the suicide toll.
In the Media (unless otherwise indicated all are ABC reports)
ABC The Drum
The Northern Domestic Violence Service fundraising ball
Young South Australian of the Year Arman Abrahimzadeh will be attending, and the event will be MCed by Amanda Blair. Tickets can be purchased here
4 June 2016. Adelaide, SA.
Northern Domestic Violence Service
This conference will have an emphasis on aged care organisations working together to respond effectively and appropriately to elder abuse in order to ensure a positive outcome for older people experiencing abuse.
16 June 2016. Adelaide, SA.
Aged Rights Advocacy Service
Challenging the Mental Illness-Violence Nexus
This conference will explore all aspects of the relationship between mental illness and violence, with emphasis on challenges, controversies, and complexities. More information here
13-14 July 2016. Brisbane, QLD.
Inaugural SWAPv conference: Enhancing child and adolescent well-being and preventing violence in school and early childhood settings
The conference will bring together national and international researchers in the field of promoting student wellbeing, positive mental health, preventing violence and aggression, bullying and cyberbullying, and other related fields. More information here
For conference enquiries, contact Marja van Breda: email email@example.com
13-15 July 2016. Flinders University, SA.
Student Well-being and Prevention of Violence Research Centre, Flinders Educational Futures Research Institute, and others.
Pathways to Protection and Permanency: Getting it Right for Children, Young People and Families: ACWA 2016 Conference
15-17 August, 2016. Sydney, NSW.
Association of Children’s Welfare Agencies
19th Australasian Conference on Traumatic Stress: Public issues, Private trauma
A world class forum on traumatic stress, the theme explores issues such as childhood sexual abuse, domestic violence, refugee and asylum seeker trauma, and the moral conflicts facing military personnel. More information here
8-10 September 2016. Gold Coast, QLD.
Australasian Society for Traumatic Stress Studies and Phoenix Australia
2016 Global Indigenous Women's Conference and 3rd Indigenous Stop Domestic and Family Violence World Conference
More information here
12-14 September, 2016. Glenelg, SA.
The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women’s Alliance
15-16 September, 2016. Adelaide, SA.
Kornar Winmil Yunti
Prevalent and Preventable: Practice And Policy In The Prevention Of Violence Against Women And Children:
The AWAVA/ Our Watch International Conference On Violence Against Women
Marai Larasi and Prof Rashida Manjoo will be the keynote speakers.
Find out more and sign on for email updates here
19-22 September, 2016. Adelaide, SA.
Crime Prevention and Communities Conference: Innovative responses to traditional challenges
This important conference will inform local government, policy makers, police, criminologists, non-government community organisations and others about best practice in policy, evaluation and research. It will feature speakers on a range of crime prevention projects and programs. More information can be found here
3-4 November 2016. Brisbane, QLD.
Australian Institute of Criminology and the Queensland Police Service
Civil Claims for Institutional Abuse – information seminar
for more information.
23 June 2016. Adelaide, SA.
“Who’s in charge?”
A course for parents feeling overwhelmed, intimidated or overpowered by defiant behaviours or violence and abuse inflicted upon them by their child (8-18 years old). To register or for details, please contact Nicole Rawson at the City of Port Adelaide/Enfield on 8405 6867 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
August 2016. Adelaide, SA.
Reconnect Port Adelaide/Enfield and Centacare
This one day interactive training workshop provides the information and skills needed by workers in service settings, to assist people seeking help for their often trauma-related daily difficulties
15 August 2016. Adelaide, SA.
Blue Knot Foundation
Presented by Sharon Freeman Clevenger. An intensive workshop designed to provide you with the information, knowledge, skills, and abilities to accurately identify and support personality disordered clients.
8 September 2016. Adelaide, SA.
TATRA Corporate and Allied Health Training Services