Criminal Records and Rehabilitation in Australia

  • Bronwyn Naylor (Monash University)

Resettlement of former offenders and their ongoing desistance from further offending should be a priority for any community, but in many countries criminal records are increasingly accessed in employment and other decision making. The criminal record then becomes an indelible brand, undermining rehabilitation and making reoffending more likely. Common law-based countries such as the UK and Australia demonstrate this phenomenon more clearly than some mainland European countries, and political and cultural factors are clearly relevant. This paper addresses the scope in Australia for rehabilitation processes that might contribute to the desistance process.

Keywords: Criminal record, Spent convictions, Desistance, Rehabilitation

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