More, longer, tougher … or is it finally time for a different approach to the post-sentence management of sex offenders in Australia?

Lorana Bartels, Jamie Walvisch, Kelly Richards

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


In Australia, the pace of legislative reform in relation to the post-sentence management of sex offenders has been particularly frenetic since 2016. This article analyses these recent reforms, arguing that while they have been extensive in number, they have not been extensive in nature: governments have simply sought to do more of the same, even though there is little evidence to suggest that this is likely to improve community safety. By contrast, evaluations suggest that some more innovative approaches may be effective in assisting sex offenders to reintegrate into communities and in reducing re-offending. This article discusses three such approaches: Circles of Support and Accountability (CoSA); Chaperone Programs; and Support and Awareness Groups (SAAGs). It suggests that, if governments are truly committed to the goal of enhancing community safety, approaches of this nature seem a better target for public investment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-57
Number of pages17
JournalCriminal Law Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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