Understanding Reoffending To Improve Community Safety

An expert consortium conducting world-leading research into serious violent and sexual offending has been set up in Melbourne, thanks to $1.6 million from the Andrews Labor Government.

Minister for Corrections Gayle Tierney today officially opened the Catalyst Consortium at Swinburne University of Technology in Hawthorn.

Forensic psychologists Professor James Ogloff AM, Director of the centre, and Professor Michael Daffern will oversee a network of researchers in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Catalyst has a number of aims including to improve our understanding of what causes repeat violent and sexual offending, to help authorities better manage offenders and to increase community safety.

The consortium will also look at forensic mental health and how we can better support people with mental illness in the justice system.

The consortium is part of the Labor Government’s response to the Harper Review, commissioned after the tragic death of 17-year-old Masa Vukotic.

The government has taken significant action over the last two years to provide stronger oversight and management of serious offenders.

The range of offences that can be used to breach a serious sex offender on a supervision order has been widened to include acts of violence.

In the past, they could only be breached if they had committed a sexual offence. The post-sentence scheme is being expanded to include serious violent offenders.

The Labor Government has also announced $43.9 million from the Victorian Budget 2017/18 to expand Thomas Embling Hospital and the state’s forensic mental health capacity.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Corrections Gayle Tierney

“We’re investing record amounts in our corrections system to keep the community safe.”

“By learning more about what causes repeat violent and sexual offending, we’ll be in a better position to reduce reoffending to improve community safety.”

“Victoria is a world leader in the management of serious sex offenders and this global research hub will ensure we remain at the forefront of keeping our community safe.”