Claire’s research expertise extends across the broad fields of punishment, imprisonment, detention and social control. Claire’s research explores how experiences of ‘difference’, ‘diversity’ and ‘(ab)normality’ are co-constructed by law and medicine, and the implications of this dynamic for individuals, institutions and law reform. She advocates for the reduction and elimination of coercive and restrictive practices in disability and mental health care.
Disability Royal Commission Now
Claire is one of the lead coordinators of the academic advocacy campaign: Disability Royal Commission Now. The campaign seeks to amplify the voices of Disabled People’s Organisation Australia and other disability groups in their calls for a Royal Commission into violence against people with disability in Australia, and includes an open letter to the Prime Minister signed by over 160 academics from across Australia.
Women, disability and violence: Creating access to justice (2016-2018)
This collaborative project is being undertaken with A/Prof JaneMaree Maher (Lead CI) and Prof Jude McCulloch from the Gender and Family Violence Focus Program (Monash Univeristy), in partnership with People with Disability Australia. The project receives funding from the Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety (ANROWS), as part of its Research Priorities 2014-2016.
The project explores the experiences of women with disability in seeking access to justice when they have faced violence and/or sexual assault either inside or outside of their relationships. The project centres women’s voices and experiences, and their insights are explored in relation to those of service providers and other justice sector stakeholders.
Improving educational outcomes for children with a disability in Victoria (2016-2018)
The project addresses recent research showing that many children with a disability are inadequately supported in the Victorian education system, in both special needs and mainstream schools. Through interviews with principals, teachers and parents of students with disability, the project will offer insights into the issues, tensions and successes in the education of children with disability in Victoria.
Recently Completed Projects
The maelstrom of punishment, mental illness, intellectual disability and cognitive impairment (2016-2017)
This collaborative projects is being undertaken with Drs Marie Segrave (Lead CI) and Anna Eriksson of the Imprisonment Observatory. The project receives funding through the Monash University Faculty of Arts Industry Collaboration Scheme. The project focuses on the rising over-representation of individuals with either/or both mental illness, disabilities or cognitive impairments in the criminal justice system and in prisons in particular.
One of the key outputs of the project was a Special Issue of the premier international journal in punishment and penal control, Punishment & Society (Issue 19/3). The Special Issue draws together original empirical research and theoretical interrogations of the practices and implications of punishment in all its forms as it is directed towards individuals with mental illnesses, intellectual disabilities or cognitive impairments to ‘treat’ them within and/or beyond the prison.
The second key output of the project was a public event held in February 2017 at the Wheeler Centre entitled: The power of reform: Imprisonment & mental health in Victoria. The event brought together leading advocates and thinkers from the courts, advocacy and the community sector, and asked what we can achieve to turn current trends in imprisonment around.
Intervention, prevention and punishment: Authenticity and capacity in mandated treatment (2016)
This collaborative project was undertaken with Prof Wayne Hall (UQ), and Drs Kate Seear (Lead CI, Monash) and Adrian Carter (Monash). The project received funding from the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia Workshop Grant Scheme.
The project identified and explored the different conceptions about ‘proper’ and ‘authentic’ subjects which are used to justify coercive medico-legal interventions such as involuntary detention, compulsory treatment and mandated alcohol rehabilitation.
One of the key outputs of the project was a sell-out public event entitled Can Human Rights and Mandated Medical Treatment Co-exist? The event was held on 31 August 2016 at the Monash Law Chambers, and attracted over 230 attendees. Tweets from the event and the two day national workshop have been captured in Storify here. An edited collection based on the discussions held at the two day national workshop is due to be published with Routledge in 2018.