‘Law and order’ policy

Garner Clancey and Brenda Lin (with Brendan Delahunty)

Key terms/names

criminal justice system, fear of crime, hyper-criminalisation, law and order policy, policy transfer, ‘punitive turn’, ‘tough on crime’


‘Law and order’ policy refers to the decisions and actions of governments relating to issues of crime and justice. Policy in this area has traditionally been referred to as criminal justice policy but is more commonly being referred to as ‘law and order’ policy – reflecting the increasing punitive nature of debates, laws and policies in the criminal justice domain. In the interests of simplicity, reference will be made to law and order policy throughout this chapter.

In Australia, states and territories are responsible for law and order policy. Consequently, the laws and procedures used in each state and territory to define criminal conduct and determine how crimes are investigated, arrests made, evidence gathered, charges brought, defences raised, trials conducted, sentences rendered and punishment carried out will be slightly or significantly different. Laws determining what types of conduct should be the subject of the criminal justice system are shaped by the social, political and moral concerns of the day.

The criminal justice system is (mainly) composed of three key government institutions: the police, courts and prisons.

  • Police: the primary role of police is to enforce the criminal law, maintain public order and ensure community safety by investigating criminal activity and apprehending suspected offenders. Policing agencies are made up of numerous branches and sections, often with particular cultures, ways of operating and priorities. For example, most state policing agencies will have (among many others) separate investigation, traffic, water, air, counterterrorism, intelligence, education, community engagement, policy and management units.
  • Courts: the court or judicial process is concerned with determining whether an individual is guilty or not guilty of the offence(s) they have been charged with. If there is a finding of guilt, the magistrate or judge decides on a sentence to impose upon the offender that adequately reflects the seriousness of the crime committed and the circumstances surrounding the offence. Criminal courts operate at different levels, with higher courts presiding over trials for more serious crimes that attract more severe penalties. Courts manage significant numbers of cases annually and are the gatekeepers that decide who is sentenced to prison.
  • Prisons: imprisonment is a form of punishment that is reserved for those who have (generally) engaged in very serious offending and when no other form of punishment is appropriate. Prisons are places of confinement, where the offender is deprived of their freedom and autonomy. Prison services have to manage the prisoners and alleged offenders (in the case of remand) sent to them by police and the courts. Prisons operate according to security levels, with more serious or protected inmates being housed in more secure facilities.

This brief overview of the criminal justice system highlights the role of key (but not all) institutions and points to the different functions of each institution. It also shows that different parts of the criminal justice system can be heavily impacted by other agencies. For example, if police assume a pro-arrest policy, which brings more alleged offenders into the system, it is likely that the courts and prisons will need to deal with a greater number of cases and entries into custody.

Law and order policy has become increasingly punitive over time. This has been referred to as ‘hyper-criminalisation’1 and has provided greater opportunities for police to interact with and sanction people, a greater likelihood that someone entering the criminal justice system will receive harsher penalties and a greater likelihood that people will remain in or return to the criminal justice system.

Political cycles and news media play critical roles in law and order policy making. Political parties often seek to appear ‘tough on crime’ through various announcements, most frequently prior to an election. Promising more police, and the introduction of sophisticated technologies to detect and help arrest offenders and of tougher criminal sanctions are often the stock-in-trade of major political parties at election times.

News media facilitates the communication and reinforcement of political law and order messages, while also exacerbating public fear by disseminating endless stories featuring horrific and extraordinary incidences of crime. Crime stories are designed to capture the public’s interest and intensify public discussion on the issue in question, often by eliciting feelings of fear and insecurity or creating moral panic within society.2

Hogg and Brown3 thematically summarised the ‘common sense’ assumptions about crime that underpin the beliefs held by a significant proportion of the Australian population. These ‘common sense’ assumptions still ring true in modern society. Their essence is epitomised by the following commonly held views:

  • crime rates are at an all-time high – we currently live in a society characterised by unprecedented levels of crime
  • more police officers with more police powers and tougher penalties on offenders are needed to combat the crime problem.

Popular misconceptions of the current ‘crime epidemic’ and need for harsh crime control and punishment have been largely disseminated in the public domain by news media, politicians and other influential figures.4 A fearful public demands or requires governments to take law and order policy seriously – or so we are told.

What’s at stake?

There is a lot at stake in the context of law and order policy making. Those who come into contact with the criminal justice system can lose their liberty (through imprisonment), their ability to move freely (through place restrictions and conditions attached to various sanctions) and their ability to work in particular industries (e.g. an individual may not be allowed to work for a fire service if they have been convicted of arson), not to mention the impact on victims of crime. Some of the additional human and financial costs are considered here.

Human costs

Law and order policy has significant ramifications for those entangled in the criminal justice system. Below are some examples of the ways in which law and order policy can impact lives:

  • expanded police powers and ‘zero tolerance policing’ result in greater numbers of people being searched, fined and charged, often for minor offences
  • the use of electronic monitoring and urinalysis in the supervision of community-based offenders means that people are being tracked and surveilled in increasingly intense ways
  • the rise of ‘supermax’ prisons means that some prisoners are being confined for long periods with little or no contact with other prisoners or the outside world
  • sex offender registers mean that those convicted of particular sex offences will have their movements monitored for lengthy periods following their release from prison.

Taken together, the rise and intensification of these practices means that more people are entering the criminal justice system, staying in it for longer and returning more frequently, instigating a vicious cycle of offending.

Financial costs

The criminal justice system operates at great economic expense. The Australian Productivity Commission5 calculated expenditure on the criminal justice system in 2016–17 as follows:

  • $10.9 billion on policing (not including federal police)
  • $1.4 billion on courts
  • $4.1 billion on corrective services (prisons and community corrections)
  • $769.5 million on youth justice services (detention-based supervision, community-based supervision, group conferencing).

Given these significant costs, it is important that law and order policy uses public funds in the most efficient and effective manner. Every dollar spent on inefficient law and order policy represents one less dollar spent on education, public infrastructure, welfare and so on.

The context and characteristics of ‘law and order’ policy

There are a number of characteristics of law and order policy that require attention. First, it is important to reflect on some recent significant trends in crime. The first is (generally) falling crime rates. The second, perhaps counterintuitively, is the rise in criminalisation and punishment, especially through imprisonment.

Crime trends

It is important to give some consideration to crime trends. It might be expected that crime trends drive law and order policy making, but, as will be shown, this is not necessarily the case.

Many major crime categories in Australia, as in many other Western societies, have been experiencing consistent declines since the turn of the 21st century. Incidents of some crime types in some Australian jurisdictions are at historic lows, meaning that there has never been a safer period of time to reside in these parts of Australia. Table 1 compares the number of reported incidents of particular crimes (by category) that occurred in Australia in 2000 and 2017.


Incidents in 2000

Incidents in 2017

% change

Homicide and related offences



↓ 58%

Sexual assault



↑ 60%

Kidnapping and abduction



↓ 30%




↓ 59%

Unlawful entry with intent



↓ 60%

Motor vehicle theft



↓ 63%

Other theft



↓ 24%

Table 1 Incidents of crime in Australia in 2000 and 2017. Source: ABS 2018a; ABS 2001.

Every major category of crime included in Table 1, except sexual assault, has shown a substantial decline between 2000 and 2017. Given the significant population growth in Australia during this period, these declines are even greater when considered as rates. These trends are generally not well known and are often lost in heated debates about the incessant need for more law and order policy.

The increase in reported incidents of sexual assault does not necessarily signify a proportionate increase in the prevalence of sexual assault or a greater likelihood of becoming a victim of such crimes. The reporting rate of sexual assault has historically been extremely low. Greater awareness and education surrounding sexual assault among the general public in recent years raises the probability that its statistical increases may (at least partially) be attributed to an increased willingness to report incidents and better police recording practices.6

Furthermore, official crime statistics do not represent an objective truth; one must be mindful of taking them as an accurate reflection of reality. Numerous factors will affect crime statistics, including the quality of data collated, counting rules, police practices both in reporting and in the activities they target, and whether the statistics are intended to be used to frame political or other agendas.

An increasingly punitive society

Despite the significant declines in many crime types, there has been rapid growth in criminalisation and punishment. This has been referred to as the ‘punitive turn’.7 It has occurred through the proliferation of new laws, which has been described as ‘hyper-criminalisation’, and the increasing use of punishment.

Throughout the last decade, a significant number of hastily crafted laws have passed through various state and territory parliaments, resulting in the expansion of law enforcement powers, the creation of new offences, the amendment of the rules of criminal procedure and increased maximum penalties for offences.8 These laws are often responses to the ‘problem of the day’ and are designed to alleviate public concern, rather than resolve the underlying causes of crime.

Below are some examples of punitive law and order policies that have been introduced in recent years:

  • revival and expansion of consorting offences9 in New South Wales (NSW)
  • creation of ‘one-punch’ homicide in NSW, Queensland and Victoria
  • creation of an organising an ‘out-of-control’ party offence in Western Australia and Queensland.

It has been argued that the effect of these (and other) laws and powers is to further criminalise marginalised groups in society, such as the poor and ethnic minorities.10 Furthermore, there has been increasing co-ordination of criminal laws between jurisdictions – one announces a new policy to get tough on crime, and others will follow or attempt to introduce policies that are even tougher on crime. This is a form of ‘policy transfer’, which will be discussed later.

In concert with the growth in these and other criminal laws and sanctions has been the growing use of punishment, especially imprisonment. The daily average imprisonment rate in Australia in 2018 was 222 prisoners per 100,000 population.11 In 1976, before law and order policy began to take hold in Australia, there were just 77.8 prisoners per 100,000 population.12 On average, there were 42,878 people in prisons in Australia during the April–June quarter of 2018 – up from 30,835 in 2013 and 26,640 in 2008.13

This growth has been driven, at least in part, by the rising remand population (i.e. those held in custody while awaiting resolution of their court matters) and the imposition of longer prison sentences by courts. To provide some context, in the June 2018 quarter, 13,182 people were held in prison awaiting finalisation of their matters in court. This is more than double the 6,482 prisoners on remand a decade earlier.14 Of particular concern, around half of all people on remand are released without having to serve further time in prison because they are either found not guilty, given a community order or deemed to have served their time while on remand.15

The law and order rhetoric advocated by politicians has been one of the key factors that have led to longer prison sentences, whereby legislative amendments to certain offences have limited the discretion of magistrates and judges in determining an appropriate sentence for the offender. Longer prison sentences have the effect of increasing the number of people held in custody at any one point in time, and therefore places further stress on prison capacity.

It is also important to note that the imprisonment rate for the Indigenous population is 15 times higher than for the non-Indigenous population. In the June 2018 quarter, 28 per cent or 11,963 of Australia’s inmates were Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.16 By comparison, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people constitute just 3.3 per cent of Australia’s overall population.17 This has been further exacerbated by many of the previously mentioned crime trends, and it continues to be a stain on Australian criminal justice systems and policies.

Unsurprisingly, the combination of all the above conditions has led to significant prison overcrowding; in 2016–17, on average, secure prisons in Australia held 21 per cent more prisoners than their maximum design capacity.18 Prison overcrowding compromises inmates’ ability to access adequate programs, services and facilities as well as their right to privacy – all of which may impede their rehabilitation progress and increase their risk of reoffending. Furthermore, overcrowding increases the likelihood that disagreements will escalate into violent situations, presenting a danger for both staff and inmates.

Actors and politics of ‘law and order’ policy

Law and order policy making is a complex process that operates in a highly politicised public arena and involves a multitude of interrelated actors – each with differing degrees of interest, power and influence over the policy-making process and its ultimate outcomes. An overview of the key actors in the law and order policy domain is provided in Table 2. Key actors include: political actors, news media, professionals who work in the criminal justice space, penal reform groups, victim interest groups, criminal justice experts and the general public.


Interests and objectives

Politicians and government

Eliciting popular support to gain or retain government office. The public’s misconception and fear of crime has enabled politicians to utilise law and order policy to win popular support. Such policies are more focused on allaying public anxiety about crime than addressing its underlying causes.

News media

Television and print media are important sources of crime information for more than 80% of Australians.19 Crime reporting remains a staple of many media and news outlets. However, in an era of diminishing investigative journalists and the growth of centralised police media units, pre-packaged crime stories are often transmitted with limited nuance or critical analysis.

There are multiple examples where the media has abused official crime statistics or misrepresented and exaggerated the extent of crime. For example, a newspaper article, ‘Kid Crime Rampage’, led readers to believe that young people are engaging in vast amounts of illegal activity. However, crime statistics reveal that the number of young people coming to the attention of police has been declining over time and only represents less than 1% of all young people in the jurisdiction.20

Penal reform groups

Advocating for offender rights, including the humane treatment of prisoners, better prison conditions and welfare support services for offenders both during imprisonment and after imprisonment, lies at the heart of activities of penal reform groups.

Victim interest groups

Victim interest groups advocate for victim interests and victim rights. They will often lobby the government to enact law reform to correct a perceived injustice – it may be in the form of harsher sentencing laws, the criminalisation of a new range of behaviours and having a greater voice in bail or parole decisions.

General public

The general public seeks to ensure that they and their loved ones are safe from the threat of crime. Public anxiety is often driven by media coverage and political agendas, resulting in the false belief that their communities are no longer safe. This belief then creates political support for punitive policies.

The general public can impact law and order policy through:

  • voting preferences at state and territory election
  • participating in opinion polls
  • signing petitions
  • publishing comments on social media platforms
  • providing feedback or comments on talkback radio
  • participating in focus groups
  • contacting their local member of parliament.

Criminal justice professionals (e.g. judges, police, lawyers, prison staff, social workers)

Criminal justice personnel implement and enforce law and order policy by carrying out their day to day responsibilities. Often their work involves discretionary decision making. In addition to the law, discretionary decisions can be influenced by formal organisational policies, informal norms and personal values. Criminal justice professionals determine how justice is implemented and its impacts on others. They can further influence policy by advocating for particular approaches to relevant ministers during parliamentary inquiries and through their production of research.

Criminal justice experts

Criminal justice experts are often involved in some capacity in the policymaking process. They may include academics, commercial research companies and think tanks. Criminal justice experts will often advocate for policy changes in response to the system deficiencies that have come to their attention as a result of their research and professional work. Experts may be consulted in the process of drafting policy documents or be asked to advise ministers on particular issues within their field of expertise. They may also make submissions to parliamentary inquiries. At times, governments will utilise expert opinion to legitimise their policy decisions.

Table 2 Overview of key actors in law and order policymaking.

How ‘law and order’ policy is made

Various approaches, theories and models have been developed to explain and analyse the law and order policy-making process. The different actors and the extent of their respective contributions and influence on law and order policy are contingent on the policy-making model adopted. A small number of models, and ‘policy transfer’ in law and order, will be considered here.

Models of law and order policy making

Table 3 provides an overview of the core models of law and order policy making, drawn from Hobbs and Hamerton.21 The law and order policy-making process does not strictly follow any of these models; rather, it combines different elements from each model. For less contentious law and order issues, policy makers generally employ more elements of the rational decision model, which focuses on evidence-based policy making. Issues that elicit greater political contestation or are hasty responses to extraordinary criminal incidents tend to result in the adoption of the elite model of policy making.



Elite model (policy as elite preference): this model suggests that policy making is a role reserved predominantly for political elites (e.g. ministers and their advisers). This small group of elite individuals have the power and ability to create, implement and enforce public policy that regulates the behaviour of the rest of society.

A minister observes graffiti on the journey to parliament and decides that measures must be taken to get tough on such offences. Relevant department agency staff are summoned and told to develop measures to tackle the scourge of graffiti. A graffiti hotline to encourage reporting and tougher penalties are swiftly introduced and implemented.

Pluralist model (policy as diverse perspectives): this process is based upon the idea that society is comprised of a diverse range of actors and stakeholders, all of whom have an interest in contributing to and influencing the public policy-making process and its ultimate outcomes.


Numerous reviews, inquiries and research reports highlight the importance of tackling alcohol and other drug use to prevent offending. A working party is established with representatives from key criminal justice agencies and victim and penal reform groups to develop policy responses. A specialist drug court is proposed as one possible solution, which the government backs through the provision of funding for a trial.

Incrementalism model (policy as variations of the past): many aspects of criminal justice policy making reflect the traditions and histories of the system, with minor reforms being introduced over time. Policy making in this context is a process whereby existing policies are incrementally modified and revised. Policies are continually improved upon in response to the problems that have arisen from their implementation.

The juvenile justice system has largely operated the same way for many years – children appearing in closed children’s courts are sentenced to serve time in juvenile justice detention facilities and are then released into the community with case management support. A new approach to assessing and addressing risk factors for offending is introduced into the system to augment existing practices.

Institutional model (policy as institutional output): this model emphasises the organisational norms, culture, structures and procedures (both formal and informal) that develop within institutions and the ways in which they impact public policy.

Corruption within the police force has prompted a widespread review. In developing a blueprint for a new approach to policing, careful consideration is given to existing institutional cultures and how reform of the organisation will be achieved in this context.

Rational decision model (policy as maximum social gain): this model of policy making utilises a problem-solving approach that is characterised by rationality, impartiality, fairness and analysis.

Detailed analysis of the mental health of prisoners reveals mental illness is steadily rising within this population. It is recognised that preventing early onset of mental health problems among this cohort will produce significant cost savings over time. A policy response that includes a spectrum of interventions in place in community, court and custodial settings is endorsed.

Table 3 Overview of models for the law and order policy-making process. Source: adapted from Hobbs and Hamerton 2014.

Policy transfer

The formulation of purely original and innovative public policy rarely occurs in the criminal justice space; rather, policy makers often draw inspiration from policies in other jurisdictions, both within and outside their country.22 This practice is known as policy transfer. Policy transfer occurs in multiple forms. Policies from another jurisdiction may be:

  • directly copied and transferred to the target jurisdiction
  • emulated by copying some elements and adapting them to suit local conditions
  • used to inspire the final policy outcome
  • combined to achieve the policy outcome.

Below are some examples of Australian law and order policies that have been imported and adopted from other jurisdictions:

  • Prison privatisation: traditionally, all Australian prisons were operated by state and territory governments. But over time the private sector has been given responsibility for operating prisons. The privatisation of criminal justice services first originated from neoliberal ideals in the USA. The growing acceptance of neoliberal ideas saw a remarkable shift in the way the population thought about state ownership and control, suggesting that the operation of state institutions should be subject to market forces of competition and efficiency. Thus the concept of private prisons was born, resulting in the commodification of punishment.
  • Risk instruments: a range of risk assessment tools that first emerged in the USA are used in the Australian justice system. These tools assess the level of risk a person poses to society. This then largely informs the way in which they are dealt with in the justice system – for example, whether bail or parole is granted.
  • Mandatory sentencing: the introduction of mandatory sentencing style policies in Australia have also originated from comparable models that were first introduced in the United States. These policies are aimed at limiting judicial discretion and increasing consistency in sentencing. For example, there are mandatory life sentences for the murder of police officers (e.g. Crimes Act 1900 (NSW), section 19B) and repeat child sex offenders (Penalties and Sentences Act 1992 (Qld), section 161E).
  • Political law and order slogans: law and order style rhetoric from the USA and UK has been often transferred into the Australian context. Examples include:
    • UK Prime Minister Tony Blair’s ‘tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime’ political slogan and rhetoric
    • US President Ronald Reagan’s ‘war on drugs’ political campaign.

Intergovernmental interactions

The process of law and order policy formulation and implementation in Australia is further complicated by the country’s constitutional and jurisdictional structure. State and territory governments have predominant control over law and order policy, but the Commonwealth government has gradually encroached upon these traditional state-based responsibilities. Additionally, international agreements and guidelines for best practice may be considered in the policy formulation and implementation process.


Historically, law and order policy was solely under the jurisdiction of the six self-governing British colonies that later formed the Commonwealth of Australia. Since the conception of federation in 1901, the Australian Constitution has provided a framework for the way in which powers and responsibilities are shared and distributed between federal and state levels of government.

The Constitution gives state and territory governments the power to enact, implement and enforce law and order policy within their borders. The Commonwealth is responsible for law and order policy that extends beyond state and territory borders or crosses those borders – for example, drug importation, customs fraud and illegal immigration. The significant overlap between Commonwealth and state responsibilities can be a source of tension.

State and territory governments are heavily reliant on Commonwealth funding – more than half of their funding is provided by the Commonwealth government.23 Often Commonwealth funding will be conditional, or tied to a certain project, policy area or outcome. This has the effect of enabling the Commonwealth to influence the way in which resources are allocated in the criminal justice system.


United Nations (UN) resolutions, declarations and treaties promote universal human rights and can be employed as tools to protect against punitive law and order policy.24 Australia, as a UN member state, has ratified a number of UN treaties and is accountable to the international community in its compliance with its treaty obligations.

Below are examples of UN treaties and resolutions that have the potential to protect against punitive law and order policy:

While Australia has ratified several UN treaties, for the most part the government does not recognise these treaties to be legally binding and often treaty obligations are not enforceable. However, even without legal status, these treaties have an effect – they can influence and guide law and order policy and provide an antidote to punitive policies.


In recent decades, law and order policy in Australia has become excessively punitive despite the consistent decline in crime. Numerous policies have been introduced in the name of community safety and social order, but, when applied in practice, they unnecessarily criminalise a broad range of behaviours and impose disproportionately harsh penalties upon those who engage in (some forms of) criminal behaviour. Punitive policies can cause undue harm to some of the most vulnerable people in society – this is particularly evident by the overrepresentation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the prison system.

The formulation of law and order policy is fraught with complexities, contestations and political power plays. It involves an array of actors with diverse and often conflicting perspectives, all seeking to influence the direction of law and order policy. Amidst these debates, politicians have been able to exploit the public’s (somewhat irrational) fear of crime, which has been predominantly driven by sensationalistic media coverage, to elicit popular support for ‘tough on crime’ policies.

Punitive law and order policy is costly – in both human and financial terms. Consequently, it is important to ask whether the benefits gained from ‘getting tough’ on the supposed crime problem can justify the damage it creates. Furthermore, it is important to recognise the disproportionate adverse effects of punitive policies on the most vulnerable groups in society. Law and order policy, as it currently stands, has the effect of excessively criminalising and punishing poverty and desperation. More needs to be done to ensure that there is equality before the law and punishments imposed are proportionate to offences committed.


Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) (2018a). Recorded crime – victims, Australia, 2017. Cat. No. 4510.0. Canberra: ABS.

—— (2018b). Corrective services, Australia, June quarter 2018. Cat. No. 4512.0. Canberra: ABS.

—— (2018c). Estimates of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, June 2016. Cat. No. 3238.0.55.001. Canberra: ABS.

—— (2001). Recorded crime, Australia, 2000. Cat. No. 4510.0. Canberra: ABS.

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Hogg, Russell (2008). Resisting a ‘law and order’ society. In Thalia Anthony and Chris Cunneen, eds. The critical criminology companion, 278–89. Sydney: Hawkins Press.

Hogg, Russell, and David Brown (1998). Rethinking law and order. Annadale, NSW: Pluto Press.

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Loughnan, Arlie (2009). The legislation we had to have? The Crimes (Criminal Organisations Control) Act 2009 (NSW). Current Issues in Criminal Justice 20(3): 457–65. DOI: 10.1080/10345329.2009.12035823

McNamara, Luke, and Julia Quilter (2016). The ‘bikie effect’ and other forms of demonisation: the origins and effects of hyper-criminalisation. Law in Context 34(2): 5–35.

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Ogg, James Thomas (2015). Preventive justice and the power of policy transfer. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan. DOI: 10.1057/9781137495020

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Roberts, Lynne, and David Indermaur (2009). What Australians think about crime and justice: results from the 2007 Survey of Social Attitudes. Canberra: Australian Institute of Criminology.

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About the authors

Dr Garner Clancey is an associate professor in criminology. Before joining the University of Sydney Law School in 2011, Garner worked as a crime prevention consultant (between 2002 and 2010) and in criminal justice (including Juvenile Justice NSW and the NSW Police Force) and alcohol and other drug agencies in NSW and England (between 1992 and 2002). Garner’s research interests include crime prevention, youth crime, juvenile justice and criminal justice policy making.


Brenda Lin is a research assistant and works with Dr Garner Clancey at the University of Sydney Law School. She has a strong interest in criminology, criminal justice policy, crime prevention, young offenders and juvenile justice, corrections and victimology. She completed her postgraduate degree in criminology and undergraduate degree in commerce at the University of Sydney.


Brendan Delahunty has a longstanding interest in how police and other government agencies work with local communities on issues affecting children and young people, Aboriginal communities and families impacted by family violence. His crime prevention work for the NSW Ombudsman included research into the links between crime, child neglect and disengagement from education. He also led a national project into the policing of illicit drug use in remote communities, and wrote about the risks to children in out-of-home care for the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

1 McNamara and Quilter 2016.

2 Lee 2007.

3 Hogg and Brown 1998.

4 Hogg and Brown 1998.

5 Productivity Commission 2018.

6 Weatherburn 2004.

7 Garland 2001.

8 Loughnan 2009.

9 Consorting laws prohibit the act of habitual association with convicted offenders. NSW consorting laws have been in operation since 2012; they were introduced in response to outlaw motorcycle clubs and other organised criminal networks.

10 McNamara and Quilter 2016.

11 ABS 2018b.

12 Mukherjee 1981, 98.

13 ABS 2018b.

14 ABS 2018b.

15 New South Wales Law Reform Commission 2012.

16 ABS 2018b.

17 ABS 2018c.

18 Productivity Commission 2018.

19 Roberts and Indermaur 2009.

20 Weatherburn 2011.

21 Hobbs and Hamerton 2014.

22 Ogg 2015.

23 Parliamentary Education Office 2018.

24 Hogg 2008.