Australian and New Zealand Society of Criminology

ARC Discovery Early Career Projects 2024

The ARC has announced the results for the 2024 round of ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA24). The 4402 (Criminology) FoR code has been awarded six DECRA Projects, many with ANZSOC members involved. It is fantastic to see the impressive diversity of research topics funded across these projects and to see some success in the 4402 code!

The successful projects include:

DE240100109 — RMIT University – Sexual offence interviewing: Towards victim-survivor well-being and justice.

Lead: Dr Gemma Hamilton

This project aims to improve the way victim-survivors are interviewed in sexual offence cases by examining their experiences and perceptions of investigative interview techniques. It expects to generate new knowledge about interview techniques that can promote victim well-being and the disclosure of sensitive information during investigative interviews. Expected outcomes include new theoretical frameworks in the field of investigative interviewing and an innovative toolkit of victim-centred training resources to directly inform investigative interview policies and practices in sexual offence cases. Anticipated benefits include better victim experiences of investigative interviews and enhanced justice responses to sexual violence.

DE240100080 — Monash University – Harnessing the power of ordinary people to prevent cyber abuse.

Lead: Dr Zarina Vakhitova

Cyber abuse is a serious social problem that requires an urgent solution. The project aims to improve our understanding of cyber abuse intervention by ordinary citizens by utilising innovative research methods. The project expects to generate new knowledge about the mechanisms of prevention of cyber abuse victimisation and to produce an evidence-based intervention training program. Expected outcomes of this project include a new theoretical paradigm as well as evidence-based policy recommendations for preventing cyber abuse. These could provide significant benefits, such as reduced physical, psychological and economic costs associated with victimisation and the burden on the police and criminal justice system.

DE240100066 — Monash University Contemporary social and environmental risks for youth offending. 

Lead: Dr Molly McCarthy

While social and technology changes have led to reductions in low-level youth offending, chronic youth offending has not reduced notably, and is growing in areas of Australia. This project aims to generate new knowledge on underlying social and environmental risks for chronic youth offending in Australia to improve the effectiveness of crime prevention and desistance strategies to reduce reoffending. This project uses longitudinal survey and youth justice data, and interviews with young people, to identify key social and environmental risks for chronic youth offending. Expected outcomes of the project include evidence to inform effective crime prevention and desistance strategies for young people ‘at risk’ or engaged in chronic offending.

DE240101056 — Curtin University – Police custody and young people: Informing human rights responses. 

Lead: Dr Shelley Walker

The conditions of police custody have received national and international criticism since the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody. Youth detainees are amongst the most vulnerable. Using a case study design in three Australian states, this project aims to attend to these concerns by building new knowledge about police custody and young people from multiple perspectives. Results will inform evidence-based solutions grounded in human rights principles. Intervening early in the criminal justice process to address young people’s health and wellbeing needs can prevent their future re-incarceration and derive significant social and economic benefits, including government savings in social services, policing, the courts and prisons.

DE240101215 — La Trobe University – New Bail Regimes: Reconceptualising Risk to Reduce Remand Imprisonment.

Lead: Dr Emma Russell

More than one in three prisoners in Australia are on remand, double that of two decades ago. This project aims to investigate how risk management in new bail regimes affects accused individuals experiencing social disadvantage. It employs innovative critical criminological methods to generate much-needed knowledge about how criminal justice actors interpret and respond to risk in the bail decision-making process, and ‘lived’ experiences of bail conditions and remand imprisonment. Expected outcomes include a new framework for conceptualising risk in the context of bail. This should bring significant benefits to policymakers and law reformers seeking to reduce imprisonment and its impacts on disadvantaged groups.

DE240100189 — Queensland University of Technology – Beyond Imported Understandings of Domestic Violence in the Pacific. 

Lead: Dr Danielle Watson

High occurrences of domestic violence across the Pacific region threatens the growth and development of all sectors. This project aims to investigate local understandings of the causes, manifestations, and best-suited responses to the problem in the Pacific. It advances a study of local stakeholder’s perspectives of domestic violence in two of the least developed Pacific Island countries to generate non-Western, context-specific insight into developing policies and practices to inform improved frontline responses. Expected outcomes include the development of an evidence base to inform contextually appropriate and innovative responses to domestic violence, with benefits to islander/indigenous communities and economies in Oceania.

Congratulations to those and best of luck with submissions under the new system next year for all those applying.