Countries Expertise: Australia

Karen Gelb, Ph.D., is a Consultant Criminologist and a Lecturer in the Department of Criminology at the University of Melbourne, Australia. She worked previously at the Victorian Sentencing Advisory Council, where she wrote extensively on public opinion on sentencing and other sentencing issues. In the past 15 years of researching courts, she has also written numerous reports on sex offenders, child sexual abuse in institutional contexts, family violence, bail and remand, and specialist courts. She has recently completed a legal analysis and literature review of the effectiveness of prison, parole and community orders, particularly for women, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander offenders and other vulnerable cohorts. Dr Gelb uses both qualitative and quantitative methods in her work and specialises in synthesizing and critically analysing large and complex bodies of research into a format that is accessible to a broad audience. She has trained Victorian community corrections staff on the effectiveness of community orders and has taught on sentencing issues for the past six years. Dr Gelb is currently writing about drugs, mental health and harm reduction for Penington Institute in Melbourne.