Kate Burns



Kate completed her undergraduate and Masters degrees at Monash University. Kate has wide public sector experience and prior to taking up her doctoral research, worked in various public policy and positions in the United Kingdom with a focus on the criminal justice system. After working in public policy for many years, Kate has ventured back to Australia and into academia. Her doctoral research examines justice reinvestment in a variety of jurisdictions in the United Kingdom and the United States.

Research Topic

Justice Reinvestment: Reimagining Criminal Justice Policy?


Justice reinvestment has developed in varying degrees as criminal justice policy in the United States and the United Kingdom. This programmatic concept was originally developed as a tactic to reduce incarceration rates by investing existing corrections funds into communities most impacted by incarceration. Over this last decade that justice reinvestment has been operating, there has been an intersection of occurrences such as changes of government and the global financial crises that may have influenced the likelihood of implementation of this specific crime control strategy. Therefore there is an imperative to explore the extent of the influence of any such occurrences. A thorough examination of these aspects will also facilitate understanding of the social, cultural and political underpinnings that have given rise to the temporally and spatially specific dynamics of this governmental programme. Therefore, this project will examine justice reinvestment as a specific concept and explore the ‘conditions of possibility’ that have led to justice reinvestment emerging as a governmental programme at this point in time. Using case studies in the US and UK, this research explores how the conceptualisation of justice reinvestment has translated into criminal justice policy and practice in varied localities and will investigate how the governance of organisations, the population, the community, the individual and the self are exercised and articulated through justice reinvestment. This research will facilitate a nuanced understanding of justice reinvestment and the complex underlying forces of crime control programmes and the power relations implicit in the management of populations most impacted by incarceration.


Dr Asher Flynn
Dr Claire Spivakovsky

Research Interests

Justice reinvestment, criminal justice policy, criminal justice systems, imprisonment, regulation and governance