The conference, organized by the then Prisoners Aid Association of South Australia as the first federal conference on prison after-care, was opened by the Chief Secretary of SA, Sir Lyell McEwin, who expressed support for the concept of co-operation essential between government and voluntary agencies in prison after care.
In the opening session, Mr Justice McClemens of the Supreme Court of NSW said that although a penal system was necessary, after care was an integral part of the criminal justice system, and the better the after care, the less the recidivism. He called for the education of the whole Australian community on this issue.
Subsequent speakers at the conference included Mr S.W. Johnston, head of the Criminology Department at the University of Melbourne, who observed that the power and competency of law courts in dealing with criminals was diminishing and was being replaced by an increased responsibility on prison administration.
Judge Alfred Rainbow
Judge Alfred Rainbow Q.C. of the NSW Workers Compensation Court said that many gaols throughout Australia were outdated. He supported the proposition that prisoners should be allowed out of gaol towards the end of their sentences to get accustomed to the outside world, and said that although these suggestions had been “laughed out of court”, the Victorian government had recently amended its Prison Act along these lines. He said that Britain and Ireland had had similar schemes for some years.
On May 20, the Conference voted to form what was then known as the Australian Prison After-Care Council. Judge Rainbow was elected President and Professor Norval Morris (Professor of Law, University of Adelaide SA) and Mr R Ince (Prisoners Aid Society,Victoria) as Vice Presidents. Rev H.G Weir (SA) was elected Secretary and Mr Frank Hayes (NSW) as Treasurer. Executive members were Mrs P.N.Frost (Fairlea Women's Prison,Victoria ) and Messrs J.D. Dwyer (Research Officer, Tasmanian Attorney General's Office) and C.A.Gannaway (Welfare Officer, Prisons Department, W.A.).
Subsequently the Council, following resolutions of the Conference, made successful representations to the Federal government regarding pensions paid to spouses of prisoners, and assisted in the development of branches and organisations in Darwin and Alice Springs.
Formation of the ACPC
The Australian Crime Prevention Council was formed in Adelaide in May 1960 during a conference held at the University of Adelaide and attended by members of the judiciary, prison after care workers and representatives of Government, church and voluntary agencies from across Australia.
Second National Conference: Sydney, 1962
The council held its Second conference in Sydney NSW between 19th and 23rd February 1962. Attended by 143 delegates, it was opened by the Minister for Justice, Hon N.J. Mannix, and included visits to Wollongong and Bathurst. Several important resolutions were passed at the conclusion. A principal speaker at the conference was Mr Gordon Hawkins, Senior Lecturer in Criminology at the University of Sydney. His address “The World is my Prison” was subsequently published as the first of a series of publications by the Council.
Judge Rainbow, the inaugural President, died in late 1963 and was replaced by Justice McClemens (pictured right).
Third National Conference: Hobart, 1965
Mr Ray Whitrod
The Third Conference was held in Hobart, Tasmania, between 25th and 29th January 1965. Opened by the Tasmanian Governor, Sir Charles Gardiner, and attended by 80 members, the conference included 4 overseas guests including Mr V.N. Pillai of the United Nations Asia and Far East Institute for the prevention of crime and treatment of offenders, Tokyo; Mr Pao-Ji-Tsai of the Republic of China, and Mr Pandit Bhanichakarn and Mr Dhawee Choosap of the Department of Corrections, Thailand.
At about this time Mr Ray Whitrod was National President (pictured left).
Mr C. Bevan, Queensland Adult Probation and Parole service, was elected as a Vice President and Mrs Marjorie North as assistant secretary. Mrs North continued her involvement with the Council through the to the 1990s. 1965 Conference - Mrs Marjorie North (centre)
A highlight of this conference was a special seminar addressed by Sir John Barry of the Supreme Court, Victoria (pictured right). He suggested that an Institute be established in Australia to undertake research in the field of crime prevention and provide education and consultative and advisory services to governments and institutions in the formulation of policies and programs in the field of social defence.
Sir John Barry
It was also proposed that the Council broaden its own scope beyond the sphere of rehabilitation and after care, so as to include the whole correctional process.
The Conference then resolved to recommend to governments to take steps to set up a system of National Crime Statistics without delay, and to the Commonwealth Government to set up an Institute directed towards the correction of crime and the rehabilitation of offenders.
This resolution ultimately resulted in the establishment of the Australian Institute of Criminology.
Fourth National Conference: Canberra, 1967
Sir Max Bingham
The Fourth Conference was held in Canberra between 28th August and 2nd September, 1967.
Following this conference the Council changed its name to the Australian Crime Prevention, Correction, and After Care Council (ACPAAC) and widened its objects. The then Chief Justice of Australia, Sir Garfield Barwick, and the former Chief Justice, Sir Owen Dixon, were appointed as Patrons, and the Executive, with the Hon. E.M.Bingham M.H.A. (later Sir Max Bingham, pictured) of Tasmania, as President, expanded to 18 members.
The Council then comprised 25 associate members, 20 organizations, 8 police forces, 7 Prisoners aid organizations, and 8 Prison or Parole organizations.
Fifth National Conference: Perth, 1969
The Fifth Conference was held in Perth in August 1969 under the theme “Crime is Your Business- a National perspective”. 144 delegates from all the States of Australia, Northern Territory, Papua and New Guinea, and Hong Kong attended. Overseas guests included Professor Drapin of Israel and Professor Drinkwater from the United Kingdom.
The Conference noted the decision of the Commonwealth government to establish a National Institute of Criminology, and resolved to investigate and report upon alternatives to imprisonment, and to seek grant monies from State and commonwealth governments for the work of the Council.
In 1970 a large delegation from the Council attended the Fourth United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of offenders.