New national criminal database will build evidence on violent perpetrator reoffenders

Joint with:

The Hon Amanda Rishworth MP

Minister for Social Services

Member for Kingston

Senator the Hon Katy Gallagher

Minister for Finance

Minister for Women

Minister for the Public Service

The Hon Justine Elliot MP

Assistant Minister for Social Services

Assistant Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence

Member for Richmond

The Hon Andrew Leigh MP

Assistant Minister for Competition, Charities and Treasury

Assistant Minister for Employment

The Albanese Labor Government continues to deliver on its commitment to ending gender-based violence through its investment in the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ (ABS) Criminal Justice Data Asset.

The cross-government asset will establish a longitudinal and nationally linked criminal justice data asset to provide more evidence on perpetrators of family, domestic and sexual violence and their engagement in the justice system.

This new data asset will complement other work the Commonwealth, state and territory governments are jointly working on to stop violence against women and children including trialling innovative perpetrator responses, funding behaviour change programs and strengthening perpetrator risk assessment approaches. It also complements work underway between jurisdictions on improving information sharing about perpetrators across systems and jurisdiction, which was tasked by the National Cabinet to Data and Digital Ministers.

It will be established in collaboration with police enforcement, criminal courts and adult corrective services departments and has the potential to provide critical information on issues such as:

  • the number and rate of offenders who come into contact with the criminal justice system and who use violence.
  • the number of perpetrators held to account
  • risk factors associated with perpetration
  • recidivism rates and time to return to justice
  • pathways through the justice system
  • what is working to keep people out of the system
  • overrepresentation of First Nations peoples in the justice system.

Minister for Social Services Amanda Rishworth said that the establishment of the ABS Criminal Justice Data Asset will help build a stronger evidence base to inform policy and research as well as help with evaluation.

“We know that current statistics don’t fully capture the extent of family, domestic and sexual violence happening in our communities,” Minister Rishworth said.

“The national criminal database will expand the available data on perpetrators and mean we can improve the targeting of programs and interventions, particularly prevention and early intervention initiatives.

“It will also support reporting and monitoring on our progress towards our goal of ending gender-based violence in a generation as set out in the National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children.”

Minister for Women, Senator the Hon Katy Gallagher said this work supports the critical work being led through the Data and Digital Ministers Meeting following the National Cabinet meeting on 1 May 2024.

“The Commonwealth is working closely with states and territories on how we can improve information-sharing and data-sharing to support the National Plan and the work of all jurisdictions to end violence against women. This is an important tool to support this work.”

Assistant Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence, Justine Elliot said the database would benefit everyone working to address family, domestic and sexual violence.

“Increased capture and sharing of data are critical to identifying where there may be gaps, and where we need to focus our efforts when it comes to ending violence.

“This national criminal database, as well as the AIC statistical dashboard that we announced last year, will further enable governments, policy makers, and law enforcement to develop the most effective measures and responses.”

Assistant Minister for Competition, Charities and Treasury Andrew Leigh said the ABS have stringent criteria covering governance, capability and data management which would be required for the integration of this government data.

“The ABS has worked closely with the Department of Social Services and state and territory criminal justice agencies to develop this database.

“By expanding the data on perpetrators, the national criminal database will contribute to the development and evaluation of policies that help to keep our communities safe from the scourge of family, domestic and sexual violence.”

/Public Release. View in full here.