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Latest AIC Publications

New publications available

The Australian Institute of Criminology has released four new publications, now all available on the AIC website.

Trends and Issues

Statistical Bulletin

For the latest crime and justice facts and figures, visit Crime Statistics Australia.


Third CJPE International Summer Course: what to expect?

Third CJPE International Summer Course: what to expect?

An interview with workshop leader Ioan Durnescu

The Criminal Justice Platform Europe and the workshop leaders are busy with preparing the third edition of the International Summer Course with the theme: 'Criminal Justice in a Polarised Society'. The Summer Course will be a combination of workshops, plenary sessions and field visits bringing together participants with a background in prison, probation and restorative justice from a variety of European countries. What are the differences between this edition and the one from last year and what can the participants expect from the workshops?

'I would say this workshop will really help enhancing their daily practice. We tried to work on topics that are directly related to what they have to do in prison or what they have to do in the probation service, working with this group. It is less theoretical and much more practical orientated this time. That is what we learned from the Summer Course last year. Practitioners need exercises and techniques that they can bring home and use the day after. And that is what we will provide this time.'

Read more 


Working with violent extremist offenders in Stockholm: an interview with Assistent Governor Michael Laitinen

Many probation services in Europe have to deal with radicalised offenders on a daily bases. This requires a different way of working for probation officers. How do they do this at the probation service in Stockholm, the capital of Sweden?

Register for Webinar] Promoting Your Reentry Work During Second Chance Month

Hosted by the National Reentry Resource Center and JustLeadershipUSA, with funding support from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance


Date: Wednesday, April 17
Time: 2–3 p.m. ET




As reentry practitioners and justice advocates have been celebrating Second Chance Month for the past two weeks, social media has been buzzing with organizations highlighting their efforts to help people transitioning from incarceration back into the community. We want you to be involved, too.

Have you joined in to celebrate your work? If you’re having trouble getting started, the National Reentry Resource Center and JustLeadershipUSA are hosting a joint webinar about ways to promote your reentry work as well as to explain the resources that we’ve created to help you achieve your goals and raise awareness about successful reentry.

Participants will also have the opportunity to ask questions about how to execute promotional activities beyond Second Chance Month, including ways to connect with local reporters, highlight your work on social media, and identify new ways to talk about your efforts.

EUROCRIM 2019 Conference: Extension of the deadline for abstract submission (30 April)

The Conference Programme Committee for the 19th Annual Conference of the ESC invites you to submit an abstract for oral or poster presentation. All submitted abstracts will be reviewed by the Conference Programme Committee. All accepted abstracts will be published electronically. Please note: all presenters must be fully registered for the conference.

Deadline for abstract submission extended! NEW DEADLINE: 30 April 2019

Key Dates:

  • Abstracts submission period opens 01 February , 2019

  • DEADLINE EXTENDED! Submission closes: 30 April 2019 - Firm deadline, no new extension!

  • Early bird registration deadline: 01 June 2019

Submission form

Presentation Types:

In the abstract submission system you can choose between three types of presentations:

  • Pre-arranged Panel Session (each panel should contain between three and four papers)

  • Oral Presentation (max. 15 minutes)

  • Poster Presentation

For abstract submission CLICK HERE

University of Cambridge: Knife crime "assault data can help forecast fatal stabbings"

How knife crime data from a 12-month period could be used to help forecast the London neighbourhoods most likely to suffer a fatal stabbing the following year.

Read more

Juvenile Justice Research-to-Practice Implementation Resources

These webpages provides juvenile justice agency managers, staff, and other practitioners with concrete strategies, tools, and best-practice models to help them implement research-based policies and practices and improve outcomes for youth in the justice system.

Improving Outcomes for Youth: A Statewide Juvenile Justice Initiative

IOYouth helps states align their policies, practices, and resource allocation with what research shows works to reduce recidivism and improve outcomes for youth to enhance public safety.

[Register for Webinar] Responding to the 2019 Second Chance Act Comprehensive Community-Based Adult Reentry Grant Program Solicitation

Hosted by the National Reentry Resource Center, with funding support from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance


Date: Tuesday, April 30
Time: 2–3:30 p.m. ET


In this webinar, officials from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance and the National Reentry Resource Center will review the Second Chance Act Comprehensive Community-Based Adult Reentry grant program and its application process.

These grants are designed to support community- and faith-based organizations in expanding on or implementing reentry programs that demonstrate strong partnerships with corrections, parole, probation, and law enforcement agencies or other reentry service providers. These grants are for a 48-month project period and are open to community-based, faith-based, and tribal nonprofit organizations as well as tribal governments with a documented history of administering comprehensive, evidence-based reentry services.


  • Andre Bethea, Policy Advisor, Bureau of Justice Assistance, U.S. Department of Justice
  • Jan De la Cruz, Policy Analyst, The Council of State Governments Justice Center
  • Janet Lane, Senior Policy Analyst, The Council of State Governments Justice Center



[Apply Now] Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program

The U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) is accepting applications for the FY 2019 Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program (JMHCP). JMHCP grants support cross-system collaboration to improve responses to and outcomes for people with mental illnesses or co-occurring mental illnesses and substance addictions who come into contact with the justice system. Application is open to states, units of local government, and Indian tribes that demonstrate that the project will be administered jointly with a criminal or juvenile justice agency and a mental health agency.

This program supports officer and public safety, violence reduction, and recidivism reduction efforts through social service and other partnerships that aim to enhance and increase law enforcement responses to people in this population. The program facilitates communication, collaboration, and the delivery of support services among justice professionals and treatment and related service providers.

Applications are due by June 25.

[Apply Now] Second Chance Act Solicitations

Innovations in Supervision Initiative: Building Capacity to Create Safer Communities


The program provides funding for states, local governments, and Indian tribes to develop and test innovative strategies and implement evidence-based probation and parole approaches that effectively address people’s criminogenic risk and needs and reduce recidivism. It is funded by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance.

Applications are due by June 25. 



European Commission - Press release: EU Justice Scoreboard 2019: results show the continuing need to protect

Brussels, 26 April 2019

European Commission - Press release

Today, the European Commission publishes the 2019 EU Justice Scoreboard, which gives a

comparative overview of the independence, quality and efficiency of justice systems in EU

Member States.

It provides national authorities with information to help them improve their justice systems. The

results are mixed and show relative improvements with regard to the efficiency of justice systems and

the quality of justice. At the same time, the Scoreboard shows there are growing challenges with

regard to the perception of judicial independence.

Věra Jourová, European Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality said: “The 2019

EU Justice Scoreboard comes at a time when challenges to the rule of law are mounting in some places

in Europe. I am pleased to see that many countries continue to improve their judiciary. Sadly, some

others are reversing the positive trends. There are still too many EU citizens who don't see their justice

systems as independent and who are waiting too long for justice to be served. ”

The seventh edition of the EU Justice Scoreboard continues to develop the different indicators and

deepens its focus on judicial independence as a key element to uphold the rule of law in Member


One of the new elements of the 2019 EU Justice Scoreboard is that it provides an overview of

disciplinary regimes regarding judges in national justice systems and safeguards in place to prevent

political control of judicial decisions. The Scoreboard also presents the management of powers over

national prosecution services justice systems, including the appointment and dismissal of prosecutors,

which are key indicators for the independence of a prosecution service.

The key findings of the 2019 edition include:

Some positive trends on the efficiency of justice systems: The Scoreboard shows that over

eight years (2010-2017) positive developments can be observed in most of the Member States

identified in the European Semester as facing specific challenges. Since 2010, in nearly all of those

Member States, the length of first instance court proceedings has decreased or at least remained

stable. Moreover, first instance proceedings in money laundering court cases take up to a year on

average. However, in some Member States facing challenges in this area, proceedings can still take

two or more years.


Challenges as regards perception of judicial independence are growing: According to a

Eurobarometer survey published today, in two-thirds of Member States, the perception of judicial

independence has improved, as compared to 2016. However, compared to last year, the public's

perception of independence has decreased in about three-fifths of all Member States[1]. Possible

^political interference or pressure is the main reason for the perceived lack of independence of

courts and judges. For national prosecution services, the Scoreboard shows that there is a

tendency in some Member States to concentrate management powers, such as evaluation,

promotion, transfer of prosecutors, in the hands of a single authority.


Quality of justice: overall, in 2017, general government expenditure on law courts remained

stable across the EU. To improve the quality of judgments (based on data from European judicial

networks) most courts provide specific training to judges on the structure and style of reasoning

and drafting of judgments. In some Member States, court users can ask for clarifications of court

decisions. Compared to previous years, online access to court judgments has improved, especially

as regards the publication of judgments of the highest instance: 19 Member States now publish all

civil/commercial and administrative judgments.


Next steps

The findings of the 2019 Scoreboard were already taken into account for the country-specific


assessment carried out within the 2019 European Semester. The findings will also feed into the

preparation of the Commission proposals for the 2019 country-specific recommendations.

These policy recommendations are discussed amongst Member States in the Council. EU leaders

endorse them in June before the Council adopts them in July. Governments then incorporate the

recommendations into their reform plans and national budgets for the following year.


Launched in 2013, the EU Justice Scoreboard is one of the tools in the EU's rule of law toolbox used by

the Commission to monitor justice reforms undertaken by Member States and feeds into the European

Semester. The annual EU Justice Scoreboard assesses the independence, quality and efficiency of

national justice systems. This comparative tool is complemented by country-specific assessments,

presented in the Country Reports, which enable a deeper analysis based on the national legal and

institutional context.

The Scoreboard focuses on the three main elements of an effective justice system:

- Efficiency: indicators on the length of proceedings, clearance rate and number of pending cases.

Quality: indicators on accessibility, such as legal aid and court fees, training, monitoring of court

activities, budget, human resources and standards on the quality of judgments.


Independence: indicators on the perceived judicial independence among the general public and

companies, on safeguards relating to judges and on safeguards relating to the functioning of

national prosecution services.


Improving the effectiveness of national justice systems is a well-established priority of the European

semester — the EU's annual cycle of economic policy coordination. The EU Justice Scoreboard helps

Member States to achieve this by providing an annual comparative overview of the functioning of

national justice systems. When serious challenges are identified in individual country reports, the

Council, on a proposal from the Commission, adopts targeted country-specific recommendations.


Exposure to violence affects the development of moral impressions and trust behavior in incarcerated males

Nature Communications

Published: 26 April 2019

Jenifer Z. Siegel, Suzanne Estrada2, Molly J. Crockett, Arielle Baskin-Sommers 


Individuals exposed to community violence are more likely to engage in antisocial behavior, resulting in a dramatic increase in contact with justice and social service systems. Theoretical accounts suggest that disruptions in learning underlie the link between exposure to violence and maladaptive behaviors. However, empirical evidence specifying these processes is sparse. Here, in a sample of incarcerated males, we investigated how exposure to violence affects the ability to learn about the harmfulness of others and use this information to adaptively modulate trust behavior. Exposure to violence does not impact the ability to accurately develop beliefs about agents’ harm preferences and predict their choices. However, exposure to violence disrupts the ability to form moral impressions that dissociate between agents with distinguishable harm preferences, and subsequently, the ability to adjust trust behavior towards different agents. These findings reveal a process that may explain the association between exposure to violence and maladaptive behavior.


Exposure to community violence, whether it is witnessing someone get chased or hurt, hearing gunshots in the neighborhood, or being directly chased, assaulted or shot at, is a significant public health concern. In the United States, over three-quarters of youth have been exposed to some form of community violence in their lifetime1,2. In general, both cross-sectional and longitudinal research finds that exposure to violence places young people at risk for persistent academic underachievement3, physical health problems (e.g., difficulty sleeping, headaches, heart disease, immune disease4,5), mental health problems (e.g., depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, antisocial personality5,6,7), and interpersonal problems (e.g., problems with trust, lower levels of empathy8). Additionally, individuals exposed to violence are more likely to engage in antisocial behavior6,7, show earlier and more chronic aggressive behavior9, and hold beliefs that can normalize or romanticize aggression10. As a result, exposure to violence dramatically increases the likelihood of involvement in the justice and social service systems11.

Exposure to violence predisposes some individuals to diverse forms of negative life experiences and mental health problems, as well as comprises a prominent risk factor for a lifetime mired in aggression. Chronic exposure to violence, whether in a larger community or justice system context, shapes cognition in a way that is likely to distort perceptions of what is considered harmful behavior and how to react to harmful behavior. However, the precise social cognitive processes that may underlie these distortions in individuals exposed to violence is unclear. At the core of several theories about the relationship between exposure to violence and aggressive/antisocial behavior is the role of learning10,12,13,14,15. However, empirical evidence identifying and specifying the way in which learning is disrupted and can affect behavior in individuals exposed to violence remains elusive.

One aspect of learning that is especially relevant to adaptive social behavior is learning about whether other individuals might harm us. Harmfulness is a core dimension of moral character16,17. Research on social learning has shown that there are two, distinct, components of harmfulness learning. On the one hand, people use social cues to objectively update their beliefs about others’ harmfulness by gradually accumulating information over time to predict future outcomes (i.e., in a Bayesian manner18). On the other hand, people form subjective impressions about moral character that emerge rapidly and effortlessly19,20. These beliefs and moral impressions are used to adaptively learn and decide whom to trust in social interactions16,21. For example, in a study by Siegel and colleagues18, participants entrusted more money to agents who were less willing to harm others for profit and ascribed better moral character (subjective impression) to those agents compared to agents who were more willing to harm for profit. Together, these components of learning about other’s harmfulness serve as powerful informational tools; for the purpose of survival, humans are evolutionarily inclined to identify potential foes and avoid them through adaptive social decision-making22,23. However, life experiences, such as exposure to violence that for some individuals follows them continuously from the community to prison24, are likely to shape social learning and resulting social behaviors. Prior research linking exposure to violence to normalized views of aggression and aberrations in interpersonal functioning raises the possibility that exposure to violence may impact learning about the harmfulness of others, and by extension, behaviors that rely on trust. To date, however, there has been no research on exposure to violence and harm learning.

To examine the relationships among exposure to violence, harm learning, and trust behavior, we administer a harmfulness learning task18 to a sample of incarcerated males. While a sample of currently incarcerated individuals is not the same as a sample from the general population, this type of sample does serve as an informative sample in which to explore how differences in exposure to violence impact harm learning. It is well-documented that exposure to violence among the incarcerated covers the full continuum of potential experiences compared to the general population where scores are often restricted in range and narrowly centered around a few points within that range25,26,27. Moreover, by studying a sample of currently incarcerated individuals, we are better poised to investigate the variation in exposure to violence within a sample that is already demonstrating the theorized behavioral effects of such exposure.

In the task, participants predict and observe the choices of two agents who repeatedly decide whether to inflict painful electric shocks on another individual in exchange for money (Fig. 1a). The two agents substantially differ in their preferences towards harm (i.e., their exchange rate between money and pain). On each trial, participants predict the choice made by the agent and receive immediate feedback about their accuracy. Every three trials, participants rate their overall subjective impression of the agent’s moral character (on a scale from nasty to nice) and their certainty of that impression. This task enables us to measure two distinct components of harm learning: the ability to develop accurate beliefs about the agents’ objective exchange rates between money and pain (a quantity that is used to predict their choices), and the use of those estimates to form subjective, global impressions about other’s moral character. After the harmfulness learning task, participants engage in a one-shot trust game28 with each of the agents. All participants complete a battery that assesses exposure to violence using the Exposure to Violence Scale (ETV)29, as well as a clinical assessment measuring different aspects of antisociality to address potential confounds. We show that the ability to learn about harmfulness is not affected by exposure to violence. However, exposure to violence impairs the development of subjective impressions, and consequently, the ability to adapt trust behavior toward more harmful vs. less harmful agents.

Australasian Youth Justice Conference starts today

The 3rd Australasian Youth Justice Conference

The 3rd Australasian Youth Justice Conference will be held 30 April to 2 May in Sydney.
The theme for AYJC 2019 is Contemporary Challenges, Innovative Solutions, embracing and reflecting the need for forward-thinking approaches to issues highlighted by recent inquiries. Sub-themes throughout the conference will explore safety, security and rehabilitation; Countering Violent Extremism; emerging technologies; mental health; Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder; education; and overrepresentation across different groups.
Hosted by the Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) in conjunction with Australasian Youth Justice Administrators and Juvenile Justice New South Wales, the conference features dynamic keynote presentations from a diverse group of international and domestic keynote speakers.
Keynote speakers include:

  • Grainne Moss, Chief Executive of Organa Tamariki, Ministry for Children New Zealand
  • Francis V. Guzman, Juvenile Justice Attorney, National Centre for Youth Law
  • Indi Clarke, Executive Member of the Koorie Youth Council
  • Peta Lowe, Director CVE, Juvenile Justice, NSW Department of Justice
  • Julie Edwards, Chief Executive Officer, Jesuit Social Services.

Over three days the conference will bring together juvenile justice administrators, practitioners and policymakers from government and community organisations, together with academics, students and others with a keen interest in effective, innovative youth justice outcomes.