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August 1, 2011 | by  | in News |
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Crime (& Justice) Doesn’t Pay

A proposal from Victoria University could close down the Crime and Justice Research Centre (CJRC) on the grounds that it does not make enough money.

The CJRC completes research projects for external organisations. The university claims that the CJRC has shown a downward trend in external revenue and is unlikely to receive a substantial increase in projects and funding. Because of this, the University is proposing the Centre be disestablished.
Staff members within the CJRC believe the closure is misguided and the claims of declining revenue are inaccurate.

The CJRC state that total income has exceeded total costs in the last four years, with the Centre consistently producing surpluses averaging $56,000 annually.
“The Centre not only covers its costs, but also consistently generates surplus funds for the University,” says David Roguski, Director of the CJRC.

Staff of the CJRC also dispute the calculations made in the proposal. They claim the forecasted figure for ‘total income’ in 2011 is the revenue it has earned so far—$190,000. Since these figures were calculated, CJRC has secured a further $184,000 which is not included in the calculations.

Many oppose the disestablishment of the CJRC due to the contribution it makes to New Zealand. The CJRC was created in 2002 and has produced research on issues such as restorative justice and victimisation. It is considered a leader in the field of youth justice.

Tertiary Education Union Organiser for Victoria, Michael Gilchrist, believes closing the CJRC will have a serious impact.

“Disestablishing the CJRC would simply amount to academic vandalism. This centre has been a very important contributor of over 100 papers to Government and major positive influence on our criminal justice system,” he says.

Roguski also believes the closure would hurt many at-risk groups in New Zealand.
“It would be a particular tragedy for marginalised sectors of society (victims of domestic violence, women prisoners, at-risk youth) whose voice is so often represented in CJRC’s research,” he says.

VUWSA are also disappointed with the proposed closure of the CJRC.
“The closure of the CJRC would be a huge loss for the University. It would limit the opportunity for students further their education and be a part of the only research centre in the country dedicated to crime and its social responses,” says VUWSA President Seamus Brady.

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