1999 Conference Archive
The future and criminology: new solutions for old problems or old solutions for new problems?
14th Annual conference of the Australian and New Zealand Society of Criminology
28-30 September 1999
University of Western Australia, Perth
1999 Conference Papers
Zero tolerance, naming and shaming: is there a case for it with crimes of the powerful?
Research School of Social Sciences, Australian National University
Australia has a Prime Minister who likes “zero tolerance”. Mr. Howard says schools that detect children using drugs should always expel them. It is hard to think of any policy better calculated to increase crime than automatic expulsion from school of children alleged to be guilty of minor delinquencies. On the left, some are tempted to respond to such irresponsibility by suggesting zero tolerance for fiddling parliamentary expense accounts, tax cheating by the wealthy and corporate crime. It will be argued that it is more responsible to keep documenting the hypocrisy and then contend that zero tolerance would be an equally knuckle-headed policy for crimes of the powerful as it is for crimes of the powerless. Naming and shaming, however, raises different issues. It will be argued that while naming and shaming is overwhelmingly counterproductive for both juvenile and adult common crime, with organizational crime there is a much stronger case for selective use of naming and shaming.
About the Presenter
John Braithwaite is a Professor in the Law Program, Research School of Social Sciences, Australian National University. Both his BA and PhD (anthropology and sociology) were at the University of Queensland, where he was a student of Paul Wilson and John Western. In 1979, he was a Fulbright postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, Irvine, where Gilbert Geis became an American mentor. Empirical work on organizational crime was his primary endeavour in the 70s and early 80s when Braithwaite worked at the Australian Institute of Criminology. Books in this tradition included Corporate crime in the pharmaceutical industry, the impact of publicity on corporate offenders (with Brent Fisse), and Of manners gentle (with Peter Grabosky). In the late 80s, theoretical work was his preoccupation. Crime shame and reintegration, not just deserts : a republican theory of criminal justice (with Philip Pettit), Responsive regulation (with Ian Ayres), and Corporations, crime and accountability (with Brent Fisse) were the fruits of this labour. In the 90s, praxis in Australia connected to this theoretical work is Braithwaite’s priority. He sees restorative justice as a global social movement to which his work contributes. From 1985 to 1995 he sought to implement notions of responsive regulation as a part-time Commissioner in Australia’s antitrust and consumer protection agency, the Trade Practices Commission and as a consultant on nursing home regulation to the Australian government. Community organizations are also a focus of this endeavour. He has chaired the Australian Federation of Consumer Organizations, worked full time for two years as a consumer advocate and was the community organizations’ representative on the Economic Planning Advisory Council (chaired by the Prime Minister) between 1983 and 1987. He has two books in press: Global business regulation (with Peter Drahos) and Regulation, crime and freedom. At the Australian National University, from 1995 to 1998 Braithwaite was Head of Law and from 1991 to 1996 he led a project that continues to engage more than a hundred scholars entitled Reshaping Australian Institutions: Toward and Beyond 2001. This project involves a rethinking of Australia’s key institutions for its centenary as a nation, including foundational questions such as the ways in which Australia might become a republic.
Does punishment have a place in restorative justice?
A common convention in the restorative justice literature is to draw a strong oppositional contrast between “retributive” and “restorative” responses to crime. This framing offers apparent clarity in a messy justice field, and it provides a secure normative footing for restorative justice advocates. Less clear is whether the retributive-restorative contrast can be sustained empirically. One major point of contention is what place, if any, “punishment” has in restorative justice. Advocates eschew punishment, arguing that restorative justice practices should not be about the “intentional infliction of pain” but rather about “repairing the harm caused by crime.” But how do crime offenders and victims view the matter? If they view restorative justice practices as “punishment,” then restorative justice advocates may need to re-examine assumptions and claims. Drawing from my on-going research in South Australia, in particular, interviews with young people (offenders) and victims who have participated in a family conference, I assess their views of the place of punishment in practices termed restorative.
About the Presenter
Kathleen Daly is an Associate Professor in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Griffith University, Brisbane. She has published in the areas of gender, race, crime and justice. Her book, Gender, crime and punishment (1994) received the Michael Hindelang Award from the American Society of Criminology in 1995. She has also published an edited collection of articles (with Lisa Maher), Criminology at the crossroads : feminist readings in crime and justice (1998). During 1998-99, she has been directing a major research project on restorative justice in South Australia.
Crime control and policing in the 21st century
Australian Institute of Criminology
This paper will explore what society’s response to crime will look like in the year 2020. Following a brief discussion of the anticipated criminal environment, and trends which will influence the delivery of public services, the paper will suggest some of the forms which future institutions of crime control are likely to take. In addition to the transformation of Australian police services, the paper will discuss private and non-profit institutions of crime control, and how these will interact with public institutions. The paper will conclude with a discussion of trade-offs between personal safety and individual freedom, and how these will shift over time. It predicts greater societal investment in personal safety at the expense of individual freedom.
About the Presenter
Peter Grabosky is Director of Research at the Australian Institute of Criminology, where he has worked since 1983. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from Northwestern University and has been the author of numerous books and other publications over the last 20 years. Since coming to Australia in 1978, he has written a number of books and articles on criminology and public policy, the most recent of which is Crime in the digital age : controlling telecommunications and cyberspace illegality (Co-authored with Russell G. Smith). He was Foundation Director of the South Australian Office of Crime Statistics (1978-82) and Director of Research for the National Committee on Violence (1988-90). He has held a number of visiting appointments including: the Institute of Comparative Law in Japan, Chuo University (1993); the Australian National University (1993-4); and the Chinese People’s Public Security University (1995). In July of 1998 he was elected President of the Australian and New Zealand Society of Criminology.
Defrauding governments in the twenty-first century
Australian Institute of Criminology
Throughout the developed world, governments have found that considerable benefits can be derived through the delivery of services electronically. Not only are people able to respond to official requests for information via computers, but they can request the payment of benefits and receive funds by way of electronic transfers made directly to their bank accounts. In addition, computer technologies now play a critical role in the daily activities of public servants. This paper examines how these developments are able to be put to improper use and how the continued expansion in the use of computer technologies by government agencies will create additional risks of illegal and fraudulent conduct in the future. A variety of solutions to the problem, some new and some not-so-new, are also described.
Criminology, public policy and the fourth estate
Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, New South Wales
One of the great puzzles of criminology is that it exerts far less influence on public policy than other social sciences, such as economics, which rest on less secure theoretical and empirical foundations. Criminologists, both inside and outside the academy, usually blame this on the susceptibility of the general public to moral panics and the willingness of the media and politicians to exploit this susceptibility for commercial or partypolitical ends. But this is only half the story. Criminologists cannot escape part of the blame for the limited influence which criminology has had on public. We are too dismissive of public concern about crime, we make too little effort to understand short term trends in crime, we skirt around the fact that some coecive options for dealing with crime are probably quite effective even if they do raise real and justified concerns about violations of civil liberty, we are too dismissive of ‘administrative criminology’ and we often communicate poorly with the media and Government.Once upon a time this was all a loss to public policy but no real skin of the nose of criminology. That is no longer true. Pressures are emerging which threaten criminological research with death by a thousand funding cuts unless criminologists make a determined effort to assert more influence on public policy. Criminologists can and should take up this challenge. They should rise above what John Braithwaite once called ‘their entrenched niches of expertise’, go after the ‘fourth estate’ and engage Government in a more constructive dialogue. There are signs that this is happening.
About the Presenter
Director of the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research. He has previously held appointments as Foundation Research Director of the NSW Judicial Commission and lecturer in Justice Administration at Charles Sturt University. Dr. Weatherburn has published nearly 70 articles, book chapters and reports on a wide range of topics, including criminal justice administration, crime prevention, economic factors and crime, sentencing policy, drug law enforcement policy and trial court performance. He has just finished an evaluation of the effect of street-level drug law enforcement on entry into methadone treatment and is leading a team conducting a randomised trial evaluation of NSW Drug Court.
During his period at the Bureau Dr Weatherburn has held positions as chairman of the National Crime Statistics Advisory Group, member of the Board of the National Court Statistics Advisory Group, member of the NSW Crime Prevention Council, member of Safer Australia and member of the Capital City Lord Mayor’s Advisory Group. He has also been retained by the United Nations to give advice to the Governments of China and Papua New Guinea on the establishment of crime and criminal justice databases. In 1998 Dr Weatherburn was awarded a Public Service Medal for his contribution to public policy development and evaluation.