Crime and justice

Crime and anti-social behaviour have an impact not only on individuals and families, but also on the broader community and businesses. They can erode social cohesion and trust, and affect local economies. Recidivism is a significant concern for policy makers and law enforcement agencies.

Governments in Australia develop legislation, and agencies enforce laws and administer the justice system through courts and correctional services. Governments also fund programs to strengthen communities to prevent crime, support victims, provide access to legal aid, and reduce recidivism.

Prevention strategies include awareness campaigns, community development, provision of services that enhance protective factors and reduce risk, and modifications to the physical environment to reduce the opportunities for crime (for example, closed circuit television and measures to improve security).There are programs that target young people at risk of coming into contact with the juvenile justice system and that divert young offenders from the system. Supports for individuals at risk of reoffending include education, employment, skills training, mentoring and arts development.


Project examples

Click on any of the following projects for more information.

Independent review of accreditation program for counsellors

(NSW Office of the Children's Guardian, 2014)

Independent review of accreditation program for counsellors

(NSW Office of the Children's Guardian, 2014)

The Office of Children's Guardian administered an accreditation program for counsellors of people who sexually offend against children. ARTD was engaged to review the program based on submissions from peak bodies, in-depth interviews with key stakeholders and an examination of program documents. The review documented the benefits and risks of the scheme to the Government, professionals and the community, and found that it is still needed, even with changes in registration of professions over the last 5 years. The review also made recommendations about the program’s retention and ways delivery could be improved. 

Evaluation of alcohol education program for young people caught drinking

(NSW Police Force, 2013)

Evaluation of alcohol education program for young people caught drinking

(NSW Police Force, 2013)

The Your Choice program provides young people caught drinking and their parents the choice to attend an information session instead of paying a fine. The program aims to reduce dangerous drinking by raising young people’s awareness of strategies to avoid risks and challenging their perceptions of the prevalence and desirability of underage and heavy episodic drinking. It also aims to increase parents’ sense of responsibility for, and ability to act on, their child’s drinking. The program was introduced in 16 Police local areas commands (LACs) in 2009, and extended to 3 more. NSW Police developed a web-based alternative to address perceived inefficiencies and disincentives inherent in the face-to-face sessions for trial in six LACs in 2013. ARTD was engaged to evaluate the program using a mixed-method approach. We drew on monitoring data, Google analytics data, surveys and focus groups of participants, and consultation with police and health workers. Based on the evidence we provided, NSW Police are updating the program and rolling it out statewide. They are also using our report to inform interagency policy discussions about youth alcohol diversion.

Evaluation of program for youth at risk of involvement in motor vehicle crime

(Bankstown Council, 2012)

Evaluation of program for youth at risk of involvement in motor vehicle crime

(Bankstown Council, 2012)

The council’s U-Turns for Youth program provides local youth at risk of involvement in motor vehicle crime with access to support services and automotive and life skills workshops to support their engagement in education, training, employment. ARTD developed an evaluation framework, plan and data collection tools for the council’s internal evaluation of the project. We then analysed the data collected by council staff and provided a final report about the program’s contribution to the council’s goals for this sector and for the broader community.

Evaluation of the Cross Agency Risk Assessment and Management Framework pilot for domestic and family violence

(NSW Health Primary Health and Community Partnerships, 2011)

Evaluation of the Cross Agency Risk Assessment and Management Framework pilot for domestic and family violence

(NSW Health Primary Health and Community Partnerships, 2011)

The pilot for key agencies aimed to test a consistent approach to assessment and risk management of NSW domestic violence cases. The trials in two regions in 2010 involved four agencies assessing risks (Police, Health, Courts, Community Services) and making referrals to NGO domestic violence services. ARTD evaluated each of the trials as case studies. The process evaluation covered referrals, case management and interagency coordination, using referral data from agency systems, surveys of program stakeholders, observations, and a partnership assessment tool. The outcomes evaluation involved a quantitative analysis of 670 cases, and interviews with a sample of clients. The evaluation report identified substantial challenges for agencies with very different responsibilities and methods, when working under a common risk management framework.

Consumer consultation for national legal profession reform

(Attorney-General's Department, 2010)

Consumer consultation for national legal profession reform

(Attorney-General's Department, 2010)

The Council of Australian Governments initiated a reform, known as the National Legal Profession Reform Project, to make regulation of the legal profession uniform across Australia. ARTD was engaged to consult with consumers of legal services, consumer representatives and frontline legal complaints-handling staff about the reform. Through panel discussions, a survey, focus groups and telephone interviews with consumers and advocates across Australia, we sought views on the proposed legislative package and on any additional measures consumers thought should be considered by the reform taskforce. Our report on the findings was to be used by the taskforce in finalising the legislation.

Evaluation of treatment program for youth with sexual offending behaviours

(NSW Department of Family and Community Services, 2008-10)

Evaluation of treatment program for youth with sexual offending behaviours

(NSW Department of Family and Community Services, 2008-10)

The New Pathways program offers residential treatment for male adolescents with problematic sexual offending behaviours. ARTD conducted a process and outcomes evaluation of the program over two years. The first stage was to design an evaluation framework with key performance indicators. We then collected data through participant file reviews; conducted interviews with young people, their families and program staff and managers; and a cost analysis. The evaluation informed decisions about future funding for the program.