Emeritus Professor Janet Chan

Fields of Research (FoR)

Criminology, Police Administration, Procedures and Practice, Legal Practice, Lawyering and the Legal Profession, Studies in Creative Arts and Writing

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JANET is a multidisciplinary scholar with research interests in criminal justice policy and practice, sociology of organisation and occupation, and the social organisation of creativity. She is internationally recognised for her contributions to policing research, especially her work on police culture and socialisation, police reform, and the use of information technology in policing. Her major publications in this field include Changing...view more

JANET is a multidisciplinary scholar with research interests in criminal justice policy and practice, sociology of organisation and occupation, and the social organisation of creativity. She is internationally recognised for her contributions to policing research, especially her work on police culture and socialisation, police reform, and the use of information technology in policing. Her major publications in this field include Changing Police Culture (Cambridge University Press 1997) and Fair Cop: Learning the Art of Policing (University of Toronto Press 2003).

Janet has been awarded a number of major grants for criminological and sociolegal research, ranging from policing, juvenile justice, restorative justice, work stress and wellbeing of lawyers, to forthcoming projects on Big Data analytics for national security and law enforcement. 

She is currently Emeritus Professor at UNSW Law and Justice.

Since 2004 she has established a major research program on creativity and innovation, studying the creative practices of visual artists, research scientists and art-technology collaborations. She is co-editor of Creativity and Innovation in Business and Beyond (Routledge 2011) and Handbook of Research on Creativity (Edward Elgar 2013). 

Formerly a Research Associate at the Centre of Criminology, University of Toronto, Janet has held various positions in Australia, including Research Director of the NSW Judicial Commission, Director of the Sydney Institute of Criminology, Head of the School of School of Social Science and Policy, Professor and Associate Dean (Research) of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at UNSW. She was President of the UNSW Academic Board from 2008 to 2011 and Associate Dean (Research) of the Law School from 2011 to 2014, and Distinguished Professor of iCinema Research Centre from 2014 to 2016.

She has been research consultant to various organisations including: NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, National Crime Authority, Australian Institute of Judicial Administration, and the Royal Commission into the NSW Police Service. She was part-time Commissioner of the NSW Law Reform Commission (2001-2005). She was an Associate Editor of the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology, a reviewer for the Australian Research Council (ARC), and an expert member of the Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) Research Evaluation Committee in 2010 and 2012. 

Janet was elected Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia in 2002 for distinction in research achievements. In 2015 she was the joint recipient of the ANZ Society of Criminology Distinguished Criminologist Award.

Areas of expertise

  • Big data for policing, national security and social policy
  • Impact of technology on policing and security
  • Legal culture and work stress
  • Organisational culture and socialisation
  • Law, justice and technology
  • Restorative justice for serious offenders
  • Individual and collective creativity in art, science and art-science collaborations
  • Policing
  • Reform and innovation in criminal justice

Research Supervision



Understanding Terrorism Sentencing Decisions in Indonesia: A Southern Criminology Approach./Milda Istiqomah, 2020.

Trajectories of Victim Experience: A study of post-traumatic stress, growth and well-being in the aftermath of serious violent crime./Holly Blackmore, 2020.

The Eulogy (a novel) and dissertation: From the heart: The gift experience of creative writing and reading/Jackie Bailey, 2019.

Explaining the transition from victim to offender among men who experienced child sexual assault./Malory Plummer, 2019.

Policing in a Changing Vietnam./Melissa Jardine, 2019.

Police corruption and accountability in Palestine./Fadi Rabia, 2018.

Up Sky Down Sky Middle Water (A collection of short fiction) and dissertation: Writers vs. Money: Negotiating the field of Indian literature in English/Roanna Gonsalves, 2016.

The impact of human resource strategies on the retention of engineers in Malaysian firms. /R. Husna Abdull Rahman, 2013.

Plural Policing in Action: Exploring the nature of security networks in English and Australian stadiums/Ana Rodas, 2011.

Contested Domains: Regulating Responses to Volatile Substance Misuse in the Alice Springs Town Camps/ Christina Marel, 2011.

The role of DNA profiling in shaping criminal justice/ Jenny Wise, 2008.

Facilitating restorative justice: A study of conference convenors/ Jasmine Bruce, 2008.

Deterrence, punishment severity and drink-driving / Suzanne Briscoe, 2005.

Creating space for young people, dialogue and decision making : youth justice conferencing in New South Wales Australia / Jane Bolitho, 2005.

Constitution and maintenance of feminist practice : a comparative case study of sexual assault centres in Australia and Korea / Kyungja Jung, 2002.

Pathways to privatisation : case studies of three Australian methadone programs / Morag McArthur, 1995.



NSW Drug Court: A Socio-Legal Case Study / Glenn Took, 2011.



2012 - H. Blackmore, BA in Criminology. Topic: Public Attitudes towards Restorative Justice (jointly supervised with Jane Bolitho)

2012 - R. Polosak, BCriminology & Criminal Justice. Topic: Public Attitudes to Parking Fines (jointly supervised with Mike Grewcock)

2010 - R. Gonsalves, Grad Dip in Arts by Research (1st Class). Topic: Authorship in New Media Art

2009 - L. Dewberry, BSocSc in Criminology. Topic: Intelligence Led Policing (Honours 1st Class)

2007 - S. D'Apice, BSocSc in Criminology. Topic: Sentencing of Drink-Driving Offenders (Honours 1st Class)

2006 - C. Marel, BSocSc in Criminology. Topic: Peer Influence in Male Anti-social Behaviour (Honours 1st Class)

2006 - N. Metcalf, BSocSc in Criminology. Topic: Fear of Terrorism (Honours 1st Class)

2004 - E. Maloney, BSocSc in Criminology. Topic: Fear of Crime in Two Suburbs (Honours 1st Class)

2004 - D. Bennett, BSocSc in Criminology. Topic: Music Piracy (Honours 1st Class)

2004 - M. Torok, BSocSc in Criminology. Topic: Women's Experience of Apprehended Violence Orders

2003 - J. Rosenberg, BSocSc. Topic: Medically Supervised Injecting Centre (Honours 1st Class)

1999 - C. Morris, BSocSc. Topic: History of Public Order Legislation in New South Wales

1999 - K. Yeates, BSocSc. Topic: Gender and Culture in the Australian Army

1995 - P. Stanley, BSocSc. Topic: Compliance of Occupational and Health Regulation in Small Businesses.

1995 - M. Moses, BSocSc. Topic: Political Participation among Australians of Non-English Speaking Background.

1993 - V. Roby, BSocSc. Topic: Public Attitudes to Sentencing.

My Grants

2018-2019 (as leader of project with Academy of Social Sciences in Australia) Australian Research Council Linkage Academy Special Project: 'The Use of Big Data for Social Policy: Benefits and risks'. ($170,000)


2017-2020 (as participant/partner in project led by C Sanders) Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Partnership Development Grant: ‘Conceptions of Police Intelligence: Building a Cross-National Comparative Analysis of Practices and Frameworks’. ($200,000 CAD)


2016-2017 (as key researcher in project led by L. de Koker and L. Bennett Moses) Data to Decisions CRC: 'Practical perspectives on a balanced, enabling regulatory framework for data-based decsion-support technologies used by law enforcement and national security in Australia'.  ($418,000)


2016 (as key researcher in project led by L. Bennett Moses) Data to Decisions CRC: 'Guiding principles in the design, regulation, implementation, governance and oversight of data-based decision-support technologies for law enforcement and national security'. ($69,000)


2015-2019 (as collaborator in project led by C. Sanders) Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Insight Grant: 'Technology and data science in policing: a study of crime analysts in Canada'. ($107,375 CAD)


2014-2016 (as leader of project) Data to Decisions CRC: ‘Big Data Technology and National Security: Comparative International Perspectives on Strategy, Policy and Law in Australia, the United Kingdom and Canada’. ($467,450) 


2014-2019 (as key researcher in Law and Policy Program, Centre bid led by S. Mazumdar, consortium of universities and industry partners) Data to Decisions Cooperative Research Centre. ($25,000,000)


2012-2015 (with S. Poynton and J. Bruce) Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Grant: 'Creating a Supportive Culture for Legal Services: A Study of Work Stress, Workplace Culture and Wellbeing Programs for Lawyers and Support Staff' - Partner Organisation Legal Aid NSW ($157,495 from ARC; $60,000 from Legal Aid NSW plus in-kind contributions.)


2011-2013 ARC Discovery Grant - 'Legal Culture, Work Stress and Professional Practice: A Study of Australian Lawyers' ($240,000)


2010-2012 (with J. Bolitho) ARC Linkage Grant - 'Restorative Justice for Victims and Serious Offenders' - Industry Partner NSW Department of Corrective Services ($215,000 from ARC; $60,000 from DCS plus in-kind contributions.)


2007 (with L. Mann and Academy of Social Sciences in Austrlia) ARC Linkage Academy Special Project - 'Creativity and Innovation: Social Science Perspectives' ($60,000)


2005-2009 ARC Discovery Grant - 'Creative Culture: The development of innovative research practices in science, technology and art' ($575,000)


2004-2006 (with N. Brown) ARC Discovery Grant -' The Making of Creative Artists' ($160,000)


2003-2004 ARC Discovery Grant - 'Police Culture and Professionalism: A Followup Study of Recruits'. ($104,000)


2000-2002 ARC Strategic Partnership with Industry - Research and Training (SPIRT) grant - 'Reshaping Juvenile Justice: A Study of the Young Offenders Act 1997' - Industry Partner: Department of Juvenile Justice and Aboriginal Justice Advisory Council. ($160,000 from ARC; $60,000 from DJJ plus in-kind contributions.)


1998-2000 ARC SPIRT grant - 'The Impact of Information Technology on Police Organisations' - Industry Partner: Criminal Justice Commission ($85,000 from ARC; $18,000 from CJC plus in-kind contributions.)


1998-99 (with M. Chesterman) Australian Research Council SPIRT grant - 'Managing the Impact of Media Publicity on Criminal Jury Trials' - Industry Partner: Justice Research Centre. ($95,000 from ARC; $47,000 from JRC plus in-kind contributions)


1995-97 Australian Research Council Collaborative Grant - 'Police Culture and Professionalism' - Industry Partner: NSW Police Service ($115,000 from ARC; $76,000 from NSWPS plus in-kind contributions.)

My Qualifications

BSc MSc MA Toronto, PhD Sydney, MFA UNSW, FASSA

My Awards

Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia (2002)

Distinguished Criminologist Award, ANZ Society of Criminology (2015)

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