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​Crime and punishment under spotlight as criminologists converge on Sydney

Published date: Monday, 16 September 2019

[PDF version of this media release]

The world’s best criminologists and practitioners will meet in Sydney this week to share their knowledge on the best ways to manage offenders on parole and probation in the community. 

Scottish Professor of Criminology and Social Work Fergus McNeill will be among hundreds of people from 25 countries attending the significant international event. 

The author, researcher and academic will talk at the 4th World Congress on Probation about real solutions to keeping offenders on the right path and keeping the community safe, which have been used in his hometown of Glasgow. 

“We need our correctional systems to support people in their care to develop and realise their potential, meet their responsibilities and to secure their rights as citizens,” Mr McNeill said. 

“We need to reject the idea that ‘criminals’ are somehow essentially different from other people and recognise how much of the problems of crime and punishment lie in social structures rather than individual pathologies.” 

The 4th World Congress on Probation runs from 18-20 September and will focus on evidence-based strategies and practice in managing offenders in the community, including the more unique and targeted interventions for sex and terror-based offenders.

Each of the sessions will be live streamed. The event program can be found on the Corrective Services NSW website

Corrective Services NSW Commissioner Peter Severin said the event attracts policymakers, practitioners and researchers from Australia and across the globe.

“The theme of the conference is to showcase strategies from around the world in aiding offender reintegration, and to build public confidence in the way we safely manage offenders outside the prison walls,” Mr Severin said.

Other keynote speakers include former chief executive of the British Prison and Probation Service, Michael Spurr CB and award-winning US criminologist Faye Taxman. 

The World Congress on Probation, held every two years, is one of the world’s largest forums of its kind and aims to promote and develop probation and community corrections through workshops, keynote speakers and the sharing of practical and academic knowledge.

It was first held in London in 2013 and has since been hosted by Los Angeles and Tokyo respectively. 

For more details, visit correctiveservices.justice.nsw.gov.au/worldcongressonprobation