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Seminar Series: Military Service and Criminal Offending

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Piper Alderman Moot Court

Adelaide Law School

North Terrace

Adelaide, SA 5005

Australia

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Presenters: Kellie Toole and Dr Elaine Waddell

In 2019, the South Australian Department for Correctional Services

(DCS) undertook the first audit of an Australian prison population

designed to systematically identify prisoners who had previously

served in the military. The data showed that ex-service people

(mostly men) are imprisoned at approximately twice the rate of the

general population. This figure is consistent with data from the US,

the UK and Canada.

While the over-representation of veterans in criminal justice systems

is clear, its causes are complex and varied, and have never been

explored in the Australian context.

Kellie Toole and Elaine Waddell, with the assistance of DCS, are

investigating the relationship between Australian military service and

criminal offending by interviewing South Australian prisoners who

have served in the Australian Defence Force. They aim to influence

military recruitment strategy and corrections policy to reduce

criminal offending and incarceration among military and ex-military

personnel. This seminar discusses the preliminary themes emerging

as reasons for the significant over-representation of ex-service

personnel in prisons.

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Piper Alderman Moot Court

Adelaide Law School

North Terrace

Adelaide, SA 5005

Australia

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