Charles Sturt University
Charles Sturt University

Dr Katherine McFarlane

Dr Katherine McFarlane

Profile

Dr Katherine McFarlane holds a Bachelor of Arts/Law from the University of Sydney, a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice from the College of Law, Sydney and a PhD in Law at UNSW. Her thesis examined 'Care-criminalisation': the involvement of children in out of home care in the NSW criminal justice system and was featured on the ABC's Lateline program to support the contention that 'the child protection and foster care system in Australia is serving as an incubator for a lifetime of crime, violence and prison'.

Kath has over twenty years of policy and practical experience across bureaucracy, academia and politics.  As a law student she established a pro bono legal advice service for incarcerated women and later was an Official Visitor to NSW prisons. Admitted as a solicitor in NSW in 1996, she worked as a criminal lawyer and was the principal solicitor at the University of Technology's Community Law and Legal Research Centre from 1998-2000. She led the No New Women's Prison Coalition, an international coalition of prison reform advocates, gain a Parliamentary Inquiry into the prison system and is a former member of the NSW Corrections Health Inmate Advisory Group and the NSW Corrective Services' Women's Advisory Council.

Kath was the Executive Officer both of the NSW Sentencing Council under former Police Royal Commissioner Judge Wood and of the NSW Children's Court. From 2011-2015 she was one of the few female Chiefs of Staff in the NSW Government, where she managed the political office of Minister Brad Hazzard across the portfolios of Planning and Infrastructure, Juvenile Justice, Corrections, Attorney General and Family and Community Services and Social Housing.

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Research

Care-criminalisation

Through an exploration of the processes and policies of the NSW child welfare system, this project explores the manufacturing of delinquency and children's involvement in the criminal justice system (termed 'care-criminalisation') as experienced by a cohort of children in the NSW Children's Court criminal jurisdiction. The project identifies:

  • the rates of appearance of children in out of home care (OOHC) before the NSW Children's Court on criminal charges
  • whether this appearance rate is disproportionate; and
  • the factors leading to that over-representation.
The Criminalisation of Young People in Out-Of-Home Care/Residential Care

With CSU colleagues Associate Professor Alison Gerard, Dr Andrew McGrath and Dr Emma Colvin, Dr McFarlane is leading a research project which examines the criminalisation of children in residential care (part of a broader out of home care base). The project involves interviewing case-workers, police, lawyers and policy-makers to determine why criminalisation is occurring and what might overcome it.

Other areas of interest include:
  • prisons and community corrections
  • women and punishment
  • institutionalisation;
  • youth justice;
  • sentencing;
  • indigenous social justice issues; and
  • human rights.
Supervision

Masters LAW550 Legal Research Dissertation:  "Gaari milga ngandal guugu, galmba bubu" –Don't forget language and country – the experience of assimilation.

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Publications

Consultancies & Reports
  • McFarlane, K., McGrath, A., Westerhuis, D., and Tyson, G. (2011) Juvenile Remand: An understanding of the issues in the juvenile justice field, Report for the NSW Government Juvenile Remand Working Group.
  • McFarlane, K. (2005) Literature Review for the Longitudinal Study of the Outcomes for Children in Out of Home Care, NSW Parenting & Research Centre, Department of Community Services
  • McFarlane, K. (1999) Report to the Minister for Corrective Services on Silverwater Correctional Centre, March 1998 – January 1999
  • McFarlane, K. (1998) Report to the Minister for Corrective Services into Norma Parker Correctional Centre, Nov 1997 - March 1998
  • McFarlane, K. & Murray J. (1998) Addressing Offending Behaviour, Positive Justice Centre, Report for the NSW Department of Women.
  • McFarlane, K. & Mostert, N. (1996) Mulawa – Problem Solving: Plain English Guide, Justice Action Breakout Design and Print, Sydney NSW
  • McFarlane, K. & Mostert, N. (1996) What You Need to Know: Plain English Guide, Justice Action, Breakout Design and Print, Sydney NSW
Monographs & Journal articles
  • McFarlane, K. (2012) From Care to Custody: Young Women in Out Of Home Care in the Criminal Justice System, Australian Clearinghouse for Youth Studies, www.acys.info/
  • McFarlane, K. (2010) From Care to Custody: Young Women in Out-of-Home Care in the Criminal Justice System, Current Issues in Criminal Justice Vol 22 No 2, 345-353 Sydney NSW
  • Butler, A. & McFarlane, K. (2009) Public Confidence in the NSW Criminal Justice System, Monograph 2 NSW Sentencing Council, Sydney NSW
  • Beckett, S. Fernandez, L. & McFarlane K. (2009) Provisional Sentencing for Children, Monograph 3, NSW Sentencing Council, Sydney NSW
  • Jones, C. Weatherburn, D. & McFarlane, K. (2008) Public Confidence in the New South Wales criminal justice system, Crime and Justice Bulletin No.118,NSW Sentencing Council & NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, Sydney NSW
  • McFarlane, K. (2008) 'From Care to Crime – Children in State Care and the development of criminality' in Cunneen C. and Salter M. (eds) Proceedings of the 2nd Australian & New Zealand Critical Criminology Conference, 19-20 June 2008, Sydney, The Crime and Justice Research Network and the Australian and New Zealand Critical Criminology Network, Sydney NSW
  • McFarlane, K. & Poletti, P. (2007) Judicial Perceptions of Fines as a sentencing option: A survey of NSW magistrates, Monograph 1, NSW Sentencing Council, Sydney NSW
  • McFarlane, K. & Murray, J. (2000) 'Falling through the Cracks', Rights Now, Journal of the National Children and Youth Law Centre, pg 16 Sydney NSW
  • McFarlane, K. (2000) 'Visitors from the Other Side', Users' News, Journal of the NSW Users and Aids Association (Drugs and Prison Issue) No 32 pg 14 Sydney NSW
  • McFarlane, K. (1999) Offending Behaviour – Rehabilitation in NSW Prisons, The Full Bench, Journal of the UTS Law Students Association, Sydney NSW
  • McFarlane, K. et al (1999) Drugs, Prisons and the Criminal Justice System, Communities For Constructive Drug Action, NSW Drug Summit, Sydney NSW
  • McFarlane, K. et al (1999) Juvenile Justice and the Non Medical Use of Drugs, Communities For Constructive Drug Action, NSW Drug Summit, Sydney NSW
  • McFarlane, K. (1996) 'Legal Aid', Framed! Journal of Justice Action, Issue No 32 Summer pg 4, Breakout Design and Print, Sydney NSW
Conferences & Seminars
  • McFarlane, K. (forthcoming) 'Care criminalisation – Children in Out-of-home Care in the NSW Criminal Justice System'. International Academy of Law and Mental Health. July 2017. Prague.
  • McFarlane, K. (2016) 'Care criminalisation – the involvement of children in OOHC in the NSW criminal justice system'. THRIVE: Children, Families and Communities Growing Together. Western NSW Child and Family Conference 2016. Parkes, NSW
  • McFarlane, K. (2014) 'Take care: Representing people in out of home care'.  Annual Conference. NSW Legal Aid Commission. Sydney, NSW
  • McFarlane, K. (2014) 'Creating criminals: Children in out of home care and the NSW Children's Court'. Rotary. Maroubra, NSW
  • McFarlane, K. (2014) 'Created Criminals: NSW detention centres today'. NSW Corrective Services Women's Advisory Council. Sydney, NSW
  • McFarlane, K. (2014) 'Creating Criminals: The criminalisation of children in out of home care', Best Practice Forum 'Working at the intersection of OOHC and the Criminal Justice System. Association of Children's Welfare Services (ACWA). Sydney, NSW
  • McFarlane, K (2013) 'Creating Criminals: The institutional neglect and indifference toward children in State care', 13th Australasian Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect (ACCAN). Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) Melbourne, NSW
  • McFarlane, K. (2013) 'From Care to Crime: Manufacturing Delinquents'. Seminar presented to NSW Family & Community Services' (FACS) caseworkers, Sydney, NSW
  • McFarlane, K. (2011) 'Policing women and girls', Seventh Australasian Women and Policing Conference: Making it happen in the community, Australasian Council of Women and Policing. Hobart, TAS
  • McFarlane, K. (2011) 'Stolen Generations, Forgotten Australians, Care and Crime: Manufacturing Delinquents', 6th International Women in Prison Conference – Is Prison Obsolete? Sisters Inside. Sydney NSW
  • McFarlane, K. (2010) 'Care and protection – Recognising Forgotten Australians'. NSW Community Legal Centres State Conference, Sydney. NSW
  • McFarlane, K. (2010) 'Provisional Sentencing for children' Sentencing 2010. Australian National University (ANU) & The National Judicial College of Australia (NJCA). Canberra ACT
  • McFarlane, K. (2009) Panel Chair, Beyond Punishment: Women: Crime, Custody & Beyond. The Institute of Criminology & The NSW Department of Corrective Services, Sydney NSW
  • McFarlane, K. (2008) 'From Care to Crime – Children in State care and the development of criminality',Critical Criminology Conference, University of NSW, Sydney NSW
  • McFarlane, K. (2005) 'Institutionalisation revisited: The over-representation of the State's children in juvenile detention and adult prison systems', Families of Prisoners: Impacts and Consequences. The Institute of Criminology & The NSW Department of Justice. Sydney NSW
  • McFarlane, K. (2005) 'Careleavers over-representation in the prison population, 2nd Prisoner Health Research Symposium, NSW Justice Health. Sydney NSW
  • McFarlane, K. (2000) 'Women in Prison', Through Our Eyes – First National Conference on the Legal Needs of Women in Regional, Rural and Remote Australia. The National Women's Justice Coalition & Albury-Wodonga Community Legal Service. Albury NSW
  • McFarlane, K. & Murray, J. (1999) 'Addressing Offending Behaviour: A Juvenile Experience', 19th Biennial International Conference on Preventing Crime, Australian Crime Prevention Council (ACPC). Melbourne VIC
  • McFarlane, K. (1999) 'Church, Community and Correctional Institutions', Annual Conference, The Sisters of St Joseph Bathurst NSW
  • McFarlane, K. (1999) Seminar: Women in Prison, The Sisters of Mercy, Parramatta NSW
  • McFarlane, K. (1998) 'The UTS Community Legal Centre' Seminar: A Career in Law, Faculty of Law, University of Technology (UTS). Sydney NSW
  • McFarlane, K. (1998) 'The Australian Prison Industry' Address to the Shanghai Judicial Administration Delegation, Faculty of Law, University of Technology (UTS), Sydney NSW
  • McFarlane, K. NSW (1998) 'Working with the Community, A History of the Council for Civil Liberties'. Annual Conference - Maintaining the Rage. NSW Legal Aid Commission. Sydney NSW
Law Reform & Parliamentary Committees Appearances
  • NSW Law Reform Commission (2011): Roundtable: Inquiry into Penalty Notices. Sydney NSW
  • House of Representatives Standing Committee on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs (2011) Inquiry into the high levels of involvement of Indigenous juveniles and young adults in the criminal justice system. Sydney NSW
  • House of Representatives Standing Committee on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs (2010) Inquiry into the high levels of involvement of Indigenous juveniles and young adults in the criminal justice system. Canberra ACT
  • NSW Parliament Joint Committee on Children and Young People (2001) Inquiry into the use of Prescription Drugs and Medications. Sydney NSW
  • NSW Legislative Council Select Committee (2000) Inquiry into the Increase in the Prison Population. Sydney NSW
  • NSW Legislative Council Standing Committee on Law and Justice (1998) Inquiry into Crime Prevention Through Social Support. Sydney NSW
Peer Review
  • Cashmore, J. and Libesman, T. (2016) 'FactCheck Q&A: are Indigenous children ten times more likely to be living in out-of-home care?' The Conversation 22 February 2016
  • Cashmore, J.(2011) 'The Link Between Child Maltreatment and Adolescent Offending: Systems Neglect of Adolescents' Australian Institute of Judicial Administration Conference, Child Protection in Australia and New Zealand, Issues and Challenges for Judicial Administration. Brisbane Australia
  • Easteal, P. (2001) Less Than Equal: women and the Australian legal system, Butterworths, Sydney Australia.
Contributor
  • The NSW Sentencing Council (2009) Reductions in Penalties at Sentence, Sydney NSW
  • The NSW Sentencing Council (2009) Alcohol-related violence, Sydney NSW
  • The NSW Sentencing Council (2009) Sentencing Trends and Practices 2007-2008, Sydney NSW
  • The NSW Sentencing Council (2009) Penalties Attaching to Sexual Offences, Vol 1, Sydney NSW
  • The NSW Sentencing Council (2008) Penalties Attaching to Sexual Offences, Vol 2, Sydney NSW
  • The NSW Sentencing Council (2008) Penalties Attaching to Sexual Offences, Vol 3, Sydney NSW
  • The NSW Sentencing Council (2008) Sentencing Trends and Practices 2006-2007, Sydney NSW
  • The NSW Sentencing Council (2007) Sentencing Trends and Practices 2005-2006, Sydney NSW
  • The NSW Sentencing Council (2007) Review of Periodic Detention, Sydney NSW
  • The NSW Sentencing Council (2006) The Effectiveness of Fines as a Sentencing Option: Court-imposed fines and penalty notices: Interim Report, Sydney NSW
  • Butler. T., & Milner. L., (2003) The 2001 New South Wales Inmate Health Survey, Corrections Health Service, Sydney NSW
  • Rosa, S. et al (2000) The Prisoners Rights Handbook, NSW Council for Civil Liberties, Redfern Legal Centre Publishing, Sydney NSW
  • Australian Law Reform Commission & Human Rights & Equal Opportunity Commission (1997) Seen and Heard: priority for children in the legal process, Report No 84, Sydney NSW
  • Anderson. T., & Carney., G., (Eds) (1995) Defend Yourself – A Guide to Civil Rights and the Criminal Justice System, The Council for Civil Liberties, Breakout Design and Print, Sydney NSW
  • McSpedden et al (1995) Personal Injury Litigation, Workers Compensation and Personal Injury Loose Leaf Service, Butterworths Sydney NSW
Media Engagement
Community Engagement

Dr Kath McFarlane has been on the management committees of several human rights and social justice organisations, including:

  • NSW Corrective Services Women's Advisory Council (WAC);
  • NSW Law Society's Human Rights Committee;
  • CRC Justice Support;
  • NSW Council for Civil Liberties;
  • No New Women's Prison Campaign (NNWPC);
  • The Mulawa Project; and
  • The Positive Justice Centre.

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