Data science helping to create a better justice system - an ACEMS Public Lecture at UTS


Tuesday, 11 June 2019, 6:30-7:30pm with a reception from 5:30pm


University of Technology Sydney


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The NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) uses modern data science tools to maintain a rich and dynamic database that captures information on each person who has been convicted of a criminal offence in NSW since 1994. Statistical modelling can then be applied to extract actionable information that informs policy evaluation and effective criminal justice decision-making.

In a recent project, for example, recidivism rates were compared for offenders who received an intensive correction order versus those given short prison sentences.  With careful modelling to properly account for the nature of the crime, the analysis can be used to evaluate the effectiveness of intensive correction orders in reducing recidivism rates.

This ACEMS Public Lecture featured Dr Suzanne Poynton and Dr Joanna Wang from the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research.  

This ACEMS Public Lecture is organised by the ACEMS node located at UTS and is supported by the Statistical Society of Australia.  


Dr Joanna Wang is a research statistician at BOCSAR. After finishing her PhD in Statistics at Sydney University, Joanna did a postdoctoral fellowship at UTS and the Sax Institute.  She has also worked as lecturer in Statistics at UNSW. Her research interests include time series modelling in observational studies, econometric models for survey data and statistical methods for evaluating policy programs.



Dr Suzanne Poynton is the Acting Director and Research Manager at BOSCAR and an Adjunct Senior Lecturer at UNSW Law. She has completed a Masters (Forensic) Psychology and a PhD in Social Science and Policy. Suzanne has more than 50 publications on a wide range of crime and criminal justice issues. She is interested in the use of quantitative methodologies to evaluate policy and program delivery.