Associate Professor Adam Sutton


Associate Professor Adam Sutton, ACPC’s National Vice President (Criminology) an engaging and passionate criminologist and a pioneer of government-initiated crime prevention strategies, died on 6 September 2010 at the age of 60 years.

In 1982 Adam was appointed Director of the South Australian Office of Crime Statistics; a position he held until 1989. He was appointed Director of the South Australian Crime Prevention and Policy Unit in 1990 In his pioneering work in this area of government service, Adam collaborated with ACPC and other NGOs. In 1992 he went into academia. His first position was as Principal Research Felllow and VicSafe Fellow within the Department of Criminology at the University of Melbourne and in 1994 he became a senior Lecturer in the same department. In 2005 he was promoted to Associate Professor,a position he held until a serious illness forced his early retirement in 2008.
In his life as a public servant, as a lecturer and as a researcher Adam pursued as central the importance of translating research into effective policy. He was the consummate educator with students at the University of Melbourne (and from across the country) appreciate beneficiaries His broad experience as both public servant and academic together with his pursuit of policy-relevant research saw him in high demand to serve on diverse policy-related committees including as Chair of the State Government on Victims of Crime, as a committee member of the Victorian Community Council against Violence and the Capital City Lord Mayors Advisory Committee on Drugs. In addition, Adam provided expert advice on a wide range of state Government agencies.

Adam’s policy work was characterised by both vision and pragmatism He argued that the major thrust of crime policy must be effective prevention of and reduction in the harms associated with crime. For him, academic research should work towards enshrining a tolerant society; research was never as end in and to itself. His research interests spanned drug law enforcement, crime prevention; white collar crime; criminological theory and crime policy. He wrote or contributed to many important publications including Crime Prevention: Principles Perspectives and Practices (co authored by Adrian Cherney and fellow ACPC Executive member Rob White, 2008)
Adam’s vision of establishing a working partnership between government agencies academia and non government organizations led to him accepting an appointment as Vice President (Criminology) of ACPC, a position he held until the date of his death.

[Edited and reprinted from PacifiCrim, the Newsletter of the ANZ Society of Criminology, Volume 8 issue 1, 1 April 2011, Fiona Haines, University of Melbourne and Andrew Wilson of ACPC]


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