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The Honest Politician's Guide to Crime Control, updated

Rick Sarre, University of South Australia


In 1970 Norval Morris and Gordon Hawkins published a book: The Honest Politicians Guide to Crime Control which set out what they believed (in a USA context) is working to reduce crime. They set our 43 “ukases” or decrees. My paper is a more modest attempt in the Australian context in the twenty first century. I set out 12 priorities, all of them based upon a social justice framework and my writings (in law and criminology) over the past 40 years. There is, I surmise, far more value in tackling the societal factors that allow crime to persist than applying a strict application of the criminal law and the justice system that feeds upon it. That system is necessary, yes, but not sufficient. In fact, it is very often counter-productive.


Title: Emeritus Professor of Law and Criminal Justice, UniSA.

I have been teaching commercial law, media law, sports law and criminology for 30 years in Australia, Sweden, Hong Kong and the USA. I served four years as the President of the Australian and New Zealand Society of Criminology, and was the Chair of Academic Board of the University of South Australia for six years. This will be my 16th ALTA/ALAA conference.