Wednesday, 5 March 2008

Fighting intergenerational crime

In some family trees, branch after branch is bent.

Tasmanian criminologist, Vanessa Goodwin is studying how crime is passed down the generations in some families, and says early intervention - and support - could help people break the cycle.

Ms Goodwin says she is about to focus on 6 Tasmanian families to find out why crime is a way of life.

"Potentially a different value system, a different way of life, very difficult to break the cycle," she said.

"I think it's extremely difficult, particularly if you're living in an area where there are a lot of other people who are involved in crime as well,

"So there's a lot of positive reinforcement to commit crime and not a lot of positive role models of how to get out of involvement in crime and lead a different life."

Ms Goodwin has already studied five generations of one family.

The 167 members had committed more than 2,500 offences.

103 had at least one conviction, while 45 had served at least one jail term.

Ms Goodwin told yesterdays National Police Commissioner's conference in Hobart, the Northern Territory intervention could provide some answers for families at risk.

"Obviously education and making sure kids are in school is another important area," she said.

"And making sure that kids are being provided for by their families, so that you know the welfare cheque isn't being spent on alcohol or gambled away."

Intensive support is another option.

Ms Goodwin says Queensland's 'Family Independence Program' dedicates workers to helping families.

"Whether it's problems getting the kids to school, health issues, problems accessing Centrelink payments, whatever it is, there's someone there to assist the family."

From those on the front line, there is applause for initiatives like 'Project U-Turn' that confront offenders with the consequences of their behaviour:

"If you're stealing a TV and you think it's just a TV, you don't see the impact of that offence on children who might have nightmares because a crook has done their house over, or are bed-wetting," says former policeman, John Lennox.

Results from the crime study should be known by early next year.


Adelaide, South Australia
New Ways Forward: Pathways to Change

23 & 24 September 2008
1st Call for Abstracts
Closing Date 31 March 2008

Victim Support Service (SA) is delighted to announce that we will be hosting the 2008 National Victims of Crime conference in Adelaide.

This conference aims to excite and inspire participants by providing a range of diverse papers, presentations and workshops that explore ‘New Ways Forward’. The key themes for the Conference include: Reform, Participation & Accountability, Response. The Conference Organising Committee hopes that a wide range of people with diverse interests in working with people who have experienced crime, victimology, law reform and trauma will come together to explore New Ways Forward and potential Pathways to Change. Papers and workshops are invited within the following broad themes or any other that you believe may be of interest:
􀂃 Reform e.g.
o Victims’ rights
o Law reform
o Changes to legal processes
􀂃 Participation & Accountability e.g.
o Restorative justice initiatives
o Mediation and adult conferencing
o Crime prevention
o Community safety
o Specialist courts
o Diversity
􀂃 Responding to Victims of Crime e.g.
o Therapeutic responses
o New and emerging crimes
o Access and equity issues
o Rural and remote services
o Police and legal responses
o Role of volunteers
o Group-work
Should you wish to submit an application for an oral presentation / paper, workshop or poster presentation, please follow the guidelines below. Abstracts (maximum of 300 words) should be sent as an email attachment in the following format:
• Title of Presentation / Workshop
• Author/s
• Brief Biography of Author/s (Please note: if the abstract is accepted then this biography will be printed in the conference program.)
• Contact person
• Postal address
• Telephone number
• Email address
• Type of presentation
o Oral presentation & paper
o Workshop
o Poster
o Other
• Abstract (overview of presentation content)
• Audiovisual requirements
The Conference Organising Committee must receive abstracts no later than 31 March 2008 by email to Receipt of your abstract will be acknowledged. Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their submission by 30 April 2008. Full papers must be submitted by 31 July 2008. For further information please contact either David Kerr or Jodie Sloan at
Victim Support Service on (08) 8231 5626 or Toll Free 1800 182 368.

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