Undertaking research is the core function of the Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC). The AIC conducts research on a range of crime and justice issues to provide timely, policy-relevant research to the Australian Government and other key stakeholders.

The research priorities for the AIC are set annually by the Director, in consultation with the Criminology Research Advisory Council. In 2020-21 the research priorities are:

  • Transnational serious and organised crime
  • Illicit drugs
  • Economic crime
  • Violence against women and children
  • Over-representation of Indigenous youth in the criminal justice system

This annual priority setting process allows the AIC to be responsive to new and emerging areas of concern to Australian governments. Research undertaken in previous years in response to other priorities can be found in the publications archive.

In addition to the current priorities, the AIC has an ongoing crime and justice statistical monitoring program as well as responsibility for responding to requests for research from stakeholders.

In 2020-21, the AIC will release Statistical Reports on:

  • Commonwealth fraud investigations 2019–20
  • Counting the costs of identity crime and misuse in Australia, 2018–19
  • Deaths in custody in Australia 2018–19
  • Drug use monitoring in Australia: Drug use among police detainees, 2019
  • Drug use monitoring in Australia: Drug use among police detainees, 2020
  • Homicide in Australia 2018–19
  • Identity crime and misuse in Australia: Results of the 2019 online survey

Through its research, the AIC plays a key role in informing debate on crime and justice issues of national importance. This can include undertaking new projects on emerging issues that extend beyond the research priorities, allowing the AIC to be agile in its response to policy concerns. It also plays a role in disseminating research through its library services, as well as through conferences and the media.