Solving complex challenges with world-class research

Contemporary societies face important challenges to safety, justice and equity that criminological knowledge can help solve. Our research focuses on five key challenges:

Recent projects


Professor Martine Powell is the recipient of an ARC Discovery Grant for her project ‘Determining elements that underpin learning of child-witness interviewing.’ This project investigates the elements that underpin sustainable learning of child witness interviewing skill.  This project will impact the justice system by improving the quality of child complainants’ evidence, leading to fairer decision making and lower case attrition. The anticipated outcome is the implementation of an efficient and cost-effective learning system for interviewers of children. The findings will guide the planning and implementation of interviewer training programs worldwide, leading to improved interview quality and better justice outcomes for child complainants of abuse.

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Professor Tina Murphy is the recipient of an ARC Future Fellowship, for her project 'Engaging Muslims in the Fight Against Terrorism: Is procedural justice policing a crucial piece of the puzzle?'. This project critically examines the value of ‘procedural justice’ in community-based counterterrorism policing. ‘Procedural justice’ reflects whether people are treated with respect and fairness, are given voice in decision making, and are dealt with in an impartial manner by authorities. Professor Murphy's previous research has identified procedural justice as important for engaging minority communities, and procedural justice has also been found to be important in community-based counter-terrorism policing. This project specifically examines when procedural justice policing is most likely to promote Muslims’ trust in police and their willingness to report terror threats to police. Importantly, it also explores if and when police are willing to use procedural justice in counter-terrorism policing,


Dr Lyndel Bates is the recipient of a Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) for her project 'The road to compliance: Integrating three theories'. This project aims to reduce young driver deaths and injuries by developing an integrated theory of road policing using the elements of deterrence, procedural justice and third party policing approaches. The expected outcome of this project is an integrated theory of road policing that can be used to better inform interventions for young driver compliance. This should provide significant benefits including a reduction in crashes and offences by young drivers.


Dr Molly McCarthy is currently a Griffith University postdoctoral research fellow within GCI. Her proposed study: Youth Chronic Offending: Identifying environmental drivers and early life-course markers to inform prevention aims to better understand recent growth in the chronic youth offending cohort in Queensland, by examining the environmental and life-course factors that may be contributing to an increased propensity for chronic offending.

At the environmental level, the research aims to examine the community-level drivers of increased chronic youth offending in Queensland, examining the relevance of theorised influences on increased concentrations of offending in lower socio-economic areas, such as increased economic inequalities and changes in the distribution of police resources (Nilsson, Estrada & Backman, 2017).

In addition, this research aims to identify early life-course markers for chronic offending, considering contacts with child protection services and public inpatient and community-based mental health services as potential predictors of chronic offending trajectories.


Dr James Ogilvie is currently a Griffith University postdoctoral research fellow within GCI, with his research focusing on the links between mental health and offending for Australian Indigenous peoples. James completed his PhD in Clinical Psychology in 2018, with his thesis focused on examining neuropsychological development during adolescence and how this was linked to risk-taking and antisocial behaviour.

James has 10-years’ experience as a psychologist with the Griffith Youth Forensic Service (GYFS), working with youth (and their families) involved in the justice system. In this role, James gained extensive experience with the youth justice system and working in remote communities to deliver interventions to prevent further offending and address mental health needs.

The research project Offending and mental illness: Understanding the experiences of Australian First Nations People across the life course aims to address the gaps in knowledge regarding the relationship between mental illness and offending for Indigenous Australians. The project will utilise a Queensland birth cohort of administrative data from health and justice systems to examine longitudinal trajectories of mental illness and offending for Indigenous Australians.


Our major research projects are diverse and lead the way in helping define contemporary criminological discourse.

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