The proposed panel discussion will focus on ‘smart justice’ as it relates to reintegration, diversion, reducing recidivism, and existing justice policy and justice spending in the Australian context. The panel will focus on: • A critique of the evidence base that underpins strategies to reduce re-offending, specifically the extent to which the RNR and criminogenic needs evidence base is useful or relevant in the context of community led reintegration. • The evidence base for ‘what works’ in community led holistic reintegration, and the chasm between this research and current justice expenditure. This will include a mapping of community based services funded to reduce reoffending in NSW, and a breakdown of the more than $50 million the NSW government has committed to the community sector to achieve this. • How researchers and practitioners can work collaboratively to contribute to the quantitative and qualitative evidence base in relation to community led reintegration, in particular in relation to Aboriginal communities and people with complex needs cycling in and out of the criminal justice system.


Mindy Sotiri
Community Restorative Centre
Program Director

Biography: Mindy Sotiri BSW (UNSW) PhD (UNSW) has worked in the area of criminal justice and community post-release as a social worker, academic, community researcher and advocate for almost twenty years. Last year she was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to continue her research in the international context. She has been in her current role as the Program Director of CRC for the last five years, and in this capacity is responsible for researching, developing and implementing evidence-based best practice in post-release support and prisoner reintegration.


Sophie Russell
UNSW
Research Associate Sophie Russell (BSLS, MCrim) is the Research Associate for the Comparative Youth Penality Project and the Rethinking Community Sanctions Project at the University of New South Wales, Sydney. Prior to this position, Sophie worked as Research Officer at the Sydney Institute of Criminology at the University of Sydney. Sophie also works in Research, Policy and Advocacy for the Community Restorative Centre NSW and is involved in a voluntary capacity with other community sector agencies including as a mentor with the Women's Justice Network and as a Director on the Board of Glebe House, a residential therapeutic community. Sophie’s research interests include young people, imprisonment and social justice matters including mental health and cognitive disability and complex support needs in the criminal justice system.

Biography: Sophie Russell (BSLS, MCrim) is the Research Associate for the Comparative Youth Penality Project and the Rethinking Community Sanctions Project at the University of New South Wales, Sydney. Prior to this position, Sophie worked as Research Officer at the Sydney Institute of Criminology at the University of Sydney. Sophie also works in Research, Policy and Advocacy for the Community Restorative Centre NSW and is involved in a voluntary capacity with other community sector agencies including as a mentor with the Women's Justice Network and as a Director on the Board of Glebe House, a residential therapeutic community. Sophie’s research interests include young people, imprisonment and social justice matters including mental health and cognitive disability and complex support needs in the criminal justice system.


John Paget
Custodial Services, NSW
Former Inspector Dr John Paget has extensive experience in three separate Australian correctional jurisdictions. He has held the position of Assistant Commissioner in the New South Wales Department of Corrective Services and was a member of the New South Wales Corrections Health Board. In 1997 he was appointed as Chief Executive Officer of the South Australian Department for Correctional Services, a position he held for six years. In 2003 he took up the position of Director of the Alexander Maconochie Centre project in Canberra, which was the first correctional centre in Australia to be designed, constructed and operated under human rights legislation, the ACT Human Rights Act 2004. John also has extensive experience in operating in the private sector. As a consultant, he has worked with Westpac, Capella Capital, Serco, Thiess Constructions and G4S on a range of Public Private Partnership projects across Australia and New Zealand. Over the period 2010-2012 he contributed to the reform of penal policy and practice in New South Wales as a corrections adviser to the New South Wales Shadow Attorney-General and later Attorney-General. In 2013 John was appointed as the inaugural New South Wales Inspector of Custodial Services, a position he held until 2015 when he retired from the public sector. John is an Adjunct Associate Professor at Charles Sturt University where he works closely with the Centre for Islamic Studies and Civilisation and, in the community, with the Islamic Sciences and Research Academy. John holds a Masters Degree from Sydney University Law School. In 2008 he completed a doctorate in human rights and prison architecture at Charles Sturt University.

Biography: Dr John Paget has extensive experience in three separate Australian correctional jurisdictions. He has held the position of Assistant Commissioner in the New South Wales Department of Corrective Services and was a member of the New South Wales Corrections Health Board. In 1997 he was appointed as Chief Executive Officer of the South Australian Department for Correctional Services, a position he held for six years. In 2003 he took up the position of Director of the Alexander Maconochie Centre project in Canberra, which was the first correctional centre in Australia to be designed, constructed and operated under human rights legislation, the ACT Human Rights Act 2004. John also has extensive experience in operating in the private sector. As a consultant, he has worked with Westpac, Capella Capital, Serco, Thiess Constructions and G4S on a range of Public Private Partnership projects across Australia and New Zealand. Over the period 2010-2012 he contributed to the reform of penal policy and practice in New South Wales as a corrections adviser to the New South Wales Shadow Attorney-General and later Attorney-General. In 2013 John was appointed as the inaugural New South Wales Inspector of Custodial Services, a position he held until 2015 when he retired from the public sector. John is an Adjunct Associate Professor at Charles Sturt University where he works closely with the Centre for Islamic Studies and Civilisation and, in the community, with the Islamic Sciences and Research Academy. John holds a Masters Degree from Sydney University Law School. In 2008 he completed a doctorate in human rights and prison architecture at Charles Sturt University.


Ruth McCausland
UNSW
Research Fellow Dr Ruth McCausland is a Research Fellow in the School of Social Sciences, UNSW. Her research focuses on women, people with disabilities and Aboriginal people in the criminal justice system, with a particular interest in evaluation and cost-benefit analysis of alternatives to incarceration. Her PhD was on evaluation and the diversion of Aboriginal women from prison in NSW, and she also has a Masters in International Social Development. Ruth has worked as an evaluation consultant for government and non-government agencies. She was previously a senior research fellow at Jumbunna, UTS, and policy advisor at the Australian Human Rights Commission and NSW Anti-Discrimination Board. Ruth is Vice-President of the Board of the Community Restorative Centre.

Biography: Dr Ruth McCausland is a Research Fellow in the School of Social Sciences, UNSW. Her research focuses on women, people with disabilities and Aboriginal people in the criminal justice system, with a particular interest in evaluation and cost-benefit analysis of alternatives to incarceration. Her PhD was on evaluation and the diversion of Aboriginal women from prison in NSW, and she also has a Masters in International Social Development. Ruth has worked as an evaluation consultant for government and non-government agencies. She was previously a senior research fellow at Jumbunna, UTS, and policy advisor at the Australian Human Rights Commission and NSW Anti-Discrimination Board. Ruth is Vice-President of the Board of the Community Restorative Centre.


Back to all abstracts