Rebecca Powell


Rebecca Powell is currently completing a PhD by publications titled, ‘‘I still call Australia home’: Deportations of criminal non-citizens from Australia, policy and practice from a crimmigration perspective’ in the Department of Criminology.

Professionally, Rebecca is the Managing-Director of the Border Crossing Observatory at Monash University and also works as a researcher for a number of the research projects hosted by the Observatory. The Observatory is an innovative virtual research centre that connects Australian and international stakeholders to high quality, independent and cutting edge research on border crossings. Before joining the Border Crossing Observatory, Rebecca worked in the field of human trafficking prevention from a law enforcement and criminal justice perspective for international organisations including the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Asia Regional Trafficking in Persons Project (ARTIP Project).

Her publications include:

Powell, R, Weber, L and Pickering S (2015) ‘Every Death Counts: an argument for counting deaths in immigration custody in the national deaths in custody collection’, Current Issues in Criminal Justice; 

Segrave, M and Powell, R (2015) ‘Victimisation, citizenship and gender: Interrogating state responses’ in, Dean Wilson (ed.) Crime, Victims and Policy: International Contexts, Local Experiences (Palgrave);

Powell, R, Weber, L and S Pickering (2013) ‘Counting and Accounting for deaths in Australian immigration custody’ Homicide Studies Special Issue on Fatality and Death Reviews, 17(4): 391-417; and

Contributions to the following UNODC publications, Transnational Organized Crime in East Asia and the Pacific: A Threat Assessment (April 2013); Migrant Smuggling in Asia: A Thematic Review of the Literature  UNODC (August 2012); Migrant Smuggling in Asia: Annotated Bibliography (August 2012).


The Australian Government deports around 11,000 people each year (The Border Crossing Observatory 2016; Department of Immigration and Border Protection Annual Reports) including temporary visa holders, asylum seekers in immigration detention centres and the community and other unlawful non-citizens. Since December 2014, amendments to the Migration Act, S501 have resulted in a steep rise in the deportation of criminal non-citizens who have served a prison sentence of 12 months or more. Within the realm of criminology, crimmigration theory has been developed and applied to the practice of deportation of criminal non-citizens (Stumpf 2006, 2011; Bowling 2013; Aas 2011; Pickering and Weber 2006; Aliverti 2012a, 2012b; Zedner 2010).  Crimmigration essentially contends with the meshing of the criminal justice and immigration enforcement systems.  Whilst crimmigration is a relatively new theoretical concept, understanding deportation and the impacts of deportation policy and practice for criminal non-citizens and those affected by the decision to deport in the Australian context is an emerging field. Given the significant increase in the deportation of S501s since the introduction of amendments to the Migration Act, little is known about the impact this policy has had on criminal non-citizens and how effective this policy is to deter criminal behaviour amongst non-citizens in Australia.

The overall aim of the research is to uniquely consider deportations policy and practice of criminal non-citizens from in Australia using the criminological concept of crimmigration. This PhD will explore a set of inter-related issues associated with criminal deportations from Australia and the impact of Australia’s deportation system on S501 unlawful non-citizens and those affected by the decision to deport.


Associate Professor Leanne Weber
Professor Sharon Pickering
Dr Marie Segrave