Dr Jane Bolitho

Senior Lecturer

PhD UNSW, B.A (Hons,Sociology) UNSW, Grad.Dip.Science (Psych) USYD.

School of Social Sciences


+61 (2) 9385 2193
G19 Morven Brown
Kensington Campus

Jane is a social scientist trained in the disciplines of psychology and sociology. With a particular focus on restorative justice, restorative practices, violence and conflict resolution, her work is empirically based and aimed at directly informing current criminal justice policy. Projects are typically designed with a mixed method approach in order to develop an appropriately nuanced understanding of the experiences of those coming before criminal justice systems, the operations of formal and community based justice systems, alternative models of resolution and innovations in justice. A nationally accredited mediator and practising youth justice conference convenor, Jane is a professional member of Resolution Institute. Originally trained and registered as a psychologist in NSW, previous employment included working for the Crime Prevention Division, NSW Attorney General's Department on the research and evaluation of court based diversion programs. Jane teaches across a wide range of courses in the undergraduate criminology program including two specialist electives CRIM3019 Restorative Justice, and CRIM3013 Understanding Violence, Conflict & Aggression. She teaches LAWS8117/JURD7817 Critical Issues in Restorative Justice to Postgraduate Law students.

Research Areas

Restorative justice, violence, alternative conflict resolution mechanisms, court-based diversion, youth justice

Current Research Projects

Restorative justice for victims and serious offenders
Supported by an ARC Linkage Grant (Linkage Partner: Corrective Services NSW). This project explores the nature and experience of restorative justice following serious criminal offending with adult offenders in prison. It investigates the short, medium and long term impacts of violent crime for victims, offenders, their families and communities, and the impact of restorative intervention.

Challenges, possibilities and future directions: A national assessment of Australia's Children's Courts’
Supported by an ARC Discovery Grant. This project explored practitioner perceptions of the NSW Children’s Court across both care and criminal jurisdictions. The views of those working in the court (Magistrates, Lawyers, Police Prosecutors, Non –Government Agencies) were gathered with a view to comparative analysis across each of the Australian States and Territories. Strengths, challenges and ideas for reform were compared to make a unique contribution to legal and social policy change.

Postgraduate Research Supervision

Areas of Supervision
Restorative justice, conflict resolution, youth justice, justice innovation including court based diversion

Current Research Supervision

Restorative justice & environmental harm (M. Hamilton, supervised with Assoc. Professor Cameron Holley)

Restorative justice & victim well-being (H.Blackmore, jointly supervised with Prof. Janet Chan)

Restorative justice and non legal entities (S.Jenkins, jointly supervised with Assoc. Professor Chris Michaelson)

Postgraduate & Honours supervision (past)

Speaking throuh the silence: adult female survivors of intra-familial child sexual assault (M. Hudson, PhD in Social Science, 2013)

Constructing juvenile delinquency: an analysis of news media coverage & government response to youth crime in Malaysia (K. Ali, PhD in Criminology, 2012)

Honours - Debunking the 'Westie' myth: youth, media and crime in Western Sydney (K. Adams, 2014)

Honours - Understanding age and crime: older offenders, needs and experiences (R. Boffa, 2014)

Crime Prevention in the Northern Beaches (S. Hulme, Honours, 2013)

Youth Conferencing in NSW (H. Blackmore, Honours, 2011)

Therapeutic Jurisprudence: Drug Courts in Australia (G. Took, Masters in Social Science, UNSW 2011).

NSW Youth Drug & Alcohol Court (I. Daniels, Honours, 2008)

Drink Spiking Across Campus (M. Pohlman, Honours, 2006)


Jane is an engaged teacher committed to inspiring students in their study of social and criminal justice. She is actively involved in the scholarship of teaching and learning with a specific interest in teaching innovations that assist learners engage reflectively with social issues. In 2011 Jane completed her Graduate Certificate in University Learning and Teaching (UNSW).

Teaching areas
CRIM1010 Introduction to Criminology

CRIM10101 Introduction to Criminal Justice

CRIM3001 Criminological Theories

CRIM3019 Restorative Justice

CRIM3013 Understanding Violence, Aggression & Conflict

LAWS8117 Critical Issues in Restorative Justice

Affiliation and Memberships

Member, Resolution Institute

Member, Australian and New Zealand Society of Criminology

Member, Sydney Institute of Criminology

Member, Australian Sociological Association

Associate Member Australian Psychological Society



    Book Chapters

    • Bolitho J, 2018, 'Complex cases of restorative justice after serious crime: creative and enabling spaces for those with disability', in Gavrielides T (ed.), Routledge International Handbook of Restorative Justice, edn. NA, Routledge, Oxford, pp. 17 - 17, https://www.routledge.com/Routledge-International-Handbook-of-Restorative-Justice/Gavrielides/p/book/9781472480705
    • Chan J;Bolitho JJ;Bargen J, 2016, 'Restorative justice as an innovative response to violence', in Stubbs J; Tomsen S (ed.), Australian Violence Crime, Criminal Justice and Beyond, Federation Press, Sydney, http://www.federationpress.com.au/bookstore/book.asp?isbn=9781862879805
    • Fernandez E;Bolitho J;Hansen P, 2013, 'The Children's Court in New South Wales', in Borowski A; Sheehan R (ed.), Australia's Children's Courts Today and Tomorrow, Springer Verlag
    • Bolitho J, 2012, 'Restorative justice for adults : should we do more?', in Bolitho J; Bruce J; Mason G (ed.), Restorative justice: Adults and Emerging Practice, edn. Sydney Institute of Criminology monograph series, Sydney Institute of Criminology, pp. 17 - 38
    • Bruce J;Mason G;Bolitho J, 2012, 'Restorative Justice: from Juveniles to Adults', in Bolitho J; Bruce J; Mason G (ed.), Restorative Justice: Adults and Emerging Practice, edn. Original, Institute of Criminology, Sydney, pp. 1 - 16
    • Bolitho J, 2005, 'Restorative Justice in Action', in Chan J (ed.), The New South Wales Young Offenders Act, edn. Original, Sydney Institute of Criminology, Sydney

    Journal articles

    • Bolitho J;Bruce J, 2017, 'Science, art and alchemy: best practice in facilitating restorative justice', Contemporary Justice Review: Issues in Criminal, Social, and Restorative Justice, vol. 20, pp. 336 - 362, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10282580.2017.1348896
    • Bolitho J, 2017, 'Inside the restorative justice black box: The role of memory reconsolidation in transforming the emotional impact of violent crime on victims', International Review of Victimology, pp. 026975801771454 - 026975801771454, http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0269758017714549
    • Richards K;Bartels L;Bolitho J, 2017, 'Children’s Court Magistrates’ Views of Restorative Justice and Therapeutic Jurisprudence Measures for Young Offenders', Youth Justice, vol. 17, pp. 22 - 40, http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1473225416665612
    • Bartels L;Bolitho J;Richards K, 2016, 'Indigenous young people and the NSW Children's Court: Magistrates Perceptions of the Court's Criminal Jurisdiction.', Australian Indigenous Law Review, vol. 19, pp. 34 - 44
    • Bolitho J, 2015, 'Putting justice needs first: a case study of best practice in restorative justice', RESTORATIVE JUSTICE-AN INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL, vol. 3, pp. 256 - 281, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/20504721.2015.1069531
    • Bolitho JJ, 2012, 'Restorative Justice: The Ideals and Realities of Conferencing for Young People', Critical Criminology, vol. 20, pp. 61 - 78, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10612-011-9150-z
    • Fishwick E;Bolitho J, 2010, 'Politics-led Policy and Policy-Led Evidence: The Noetic Review of Juvenile Justice in NSW', Current Issues in Criminal Justice, vol. 22, pp. 171 - 180, http://sydney.edu.au/law/criminology
    • Passey M;Bolitho J;Scantleton J;Flaherty B, 2007, 'The Magistrates Early Referral into Treatment (MERIT) pilot program: Court outcomes and recidivism', Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology, vol. 40, pp. 199 - 217, http://dx.doi.org/10.1375/acri.40.2.199

    Conference Papers

    • Bolitho J;Hansen P;Fernandez E, 2011, 'Case study: Challenges, possibilities and future directions: The NSW Children’s Court', in Case study: Challenges, possibilities and future directions: The NSW Children’s Court, 2nd Annual Juvenile Justice Summit, Melbourne Australia, presented at 2nd Annual Juvenile Justice Summit, Melbourne Australia, 09 - 10 March 2011


    • Bolitho JJ;Bruce, J ;Bargen, J ;Chan, J, 2014, Restorative justice for Serious and Violent Offenders: Victim Offender Conferencing in NSW Australia
    • Bolitho JJ;Fernandez, E, 2014, A Study of the Children's Court of New South Wales, UNSW Australia, Sydney, NSW

    Theses / Dissertations

    • Bolitho J, 2005, Creating Space for Young People, Dialogue and Decision Making: Youth Justice Conferencing in New South Wales

    Conference Presentations

    • Bolitho J, 2015, 'Keynote address: building restorative communities in the wake of serious crime', presented at Restorative Practices International Conference: Building Restorative Communities, Hobart, Tasmania, 23 - 25 March 2015
    • Bolitho JJ;Bolitho J;Fernandez E;Hansen P, 2014, 'Children's Court: Challenges & Possibilities: A Study of the Children's Court of NSW', presented at Association of Children's Welfare Agencies: Best Practice Forum, Sydney, 23 - 23 July 2014
    • Bolitho JJ, 2014, 'Restorative justice & serious, violent crime', presented at Australian & New Zealand Society of Criminology: Testing the Edges; Challenging Criminology, Sydney, 01 - 03 October 2014
    • Bolitho J;Chan J;Bruce J;Bargen J, 2011, 'Restorative justice and serious crime: an archival study', presented at ANZSOC: Crime and the regions: from the local to regional, national and international, Geelong, Australia, 28 - 30 September 2011
    • Bolitho J;Borowski A;Travers M;Spiranovic C, 2011, 'Roundtable: Challenges, Possibilities & Future Directions: A National Assessment of Australia’s Children’s Court', presented at ANZSOC: Crime and the regions: from the local to regional, national and international, Geelong, Australia, 28 - 30 September 2011
    • Bolitho J;Milner K;Irons D, 2011, 'Providing victims of violent and serious crime a central position in the justice process; post sentence victim-offender conferencing in New South Wales', presented at Meeting the Needs of Victims of Crime, Sydney, 18 - 19 May 2011
    • Bruce J;Bolitho J, 2010, 'Regulating emotion to address the impact of serious crime: Restorative justice at the post-sentencing stage', presented at Non-Adversarial Justice: Implications for the Legal System and Society Conference, Melbourne, 04 - 07 May 2010
    • Fishwick E;Bolitho J, 2010, 'Whatever happened to evidence led policy in NSW?', presented at Third International Conference, Childhood and Youth in Transition, Sheffield, UK, 06 - 08 July 2010, http://www.cscy.group.shef.ac.uk/

Teaching and Supervision

Jane teaches into the criminology& social science program; she regularly convenes the first year gateway course 'Criminology: An Introduction' and the final year capstone,Criminology in Practice course. She teaches an electives directly relating to her research interests in restorative justice,violence & conflict. Jane completed a Graduate Certificate in University Learning and Teaching in 2011 (UNSW) andis actively engaged in the scholarship of teaching and learning.

Engagement and Professional contributions

Related links

Other information

Research area
Jane's research focuses on restorative justice and practice, understanding violence and the emotional impact on victim/survivors, and youth justice. Her PhD (completed in 2005), 'Creating Space for Young People Dialogue and Decision Making: Youth Justice Conferencing in NSW Australia', examined factors affecting the process of conferencing and conceptions of 'good practice' utilising restorative theory. Previous employment included work at the Crime Prevention Division, NSW Attorney General's Department focusing on research & evaluation of court based diversion programs.

Research Supervision
Jane supervises a broad range of research relating to social, justice and criminological issues. Particular interests include restorative justice and practice, violence, victims and survivors of crime, youth justice and gendered harm.

Current PhD supervision

Restorative justice and environmental harm (M.Hamilton, with A/Professor Cameron Holley)

Restorative Justice and non-legal entities (S. Jenkins, with A/Professor Tyrone Kirchengaast)

Restorative justice and victim wellbeing (H. Blackmore, with Professor Janet Chan)

Completed PhD supervision

PhD "Women survivors of intra-familial child sexual assault and pathways to justice" (M. Hudson, 2014)

PhD " The Construction of youth crime in Malaysia" (K. Ali, 2013