Building Knowledge of Consumer Participation in Criminal Justice in Australia: A Case Study

  • Sophie De'Ath Department of Health and Human Services Australia
  • Catherine Anne Flynn Monash University Australia
  • Melanie Field-Pimm Victorian Association for the Care & Resettlement of Offenders Australia


This exploratory study investigates the various factors to be considered when developing and implementing consumer participation in community-based criminal justice settings. The study uses the Victorian Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders (VACRO), based in Melbourne, Australia, as its case study site as this organisation is in the process of formally introducing consumer participation. The study is informed by previous research in key areas related to criminal justice, focusing on the perspectives of various stakeholders: staff, volunteers, and consumers. A mixed method approach offered a range of opportunities for participants to engage with the research. Thematic analysis identified multi-layered issues need to be considered when implementing consumer participation. Poor individual understanding was noted as a barrier, alongside a limited shared vision of the concept. These were seen to be influenced by practical issues such as high staff turnover and conceptual challenges, notably the existing discourse around offenders. The implications of these findings for further research on consumer participation in the criminal justice setting are explored.

Mar 1, 2018
How to Cite
De'Ath, S., Flynn, C., & Field-Pimm, M. (2018). Building Knowledge of Consumer Participation in Criminal Justice in Australia: A Case Study. International Journal For Crime, Justice And Social Democracy, 7(1), 76-90. DOI: 10.5204/ijcjsd.v7i1.396
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