DR Diana Johns

DR Diana Johns


  • Evaluation of justice and socio-legal processes and programs (Diversion and prevention of young people involved in offending; restorative and therapeutic approaches to justice)
  • Ex-prisoner reintegration (Post-release support, barriers to (re)integration, imprisoned men.)
  • Youth justice and young people in conflict with the law (Working with vulnerable and 'difficult to engage' groups; diversion and prevention of young people's criminality and criminalisation)



  • Diana Johns is a Senior Lecturer in Criminology in the School of Social and Political Sciences. Her main research interests converge around men's imprisonment and post-prison 'reintegration', and young people's expereince of contact with the criminal justice system. She completed her PhD at the University of Melbourne on men's experience of prison release from the perspective of ex-prisoners themselves and post-release support workers. Her book, 'Being and Becoming an Ex-Prisoner', based on this work, was published in 2017 by Routledge as part of the International Series on Desistance and Rehabilitation. In 2015 Diana undertook postdoctoral research for the Welsh Centre of Crime and Social Justice and the Youth Justice Board in Wales, UK, where she focused on young people's 'prolific' offending, examining the trajectories of young people involved in high-volume, frequent and persistent offending. This work builds on her broad research interest and experience with young people in conflict with the law and youth justice. Her (mainly qualitative) research interests range from restorative and therapeutic approaches to justice to vulnerable people's experience of criminal justice and legal processes. She was previously a Lecturer in the Justice and Legal Studies programs at RMIT University, where she maintains collaborative research links. She was co-investigator on a 2016 research project evaluating the Youth Diversion Pilot Program for the Children's Court of Victoria, with Professor Stuart Thomas and Dr Marg Liddell at RMIT. She was recently part of a team undertaking research for Corrections Victoria relating to serious sexual and violent offending. Her current work includes: research on South Sudanese young people's experience of demonising media narratives since Moomba 2016, with colleagues at Monash University and the Centre for Multicultural Youth (CMY); evaluation of adolescent family violence programs; a digital app project with the Neighbourhood Justice Centre   


Member of

  • Internatinal Society for Therapeutic Jurisprudence. Regular membership 2019 -
  • Welsh Centre for Crime and Social Justice, UK. Member 2015 -
  • Office of the Public Advocate. Volunteer Independent Third Person (ITP) 2011 -
  • Australia and New Zealand Society of Criminology (ANZSOC). Member 2011 - 2019


Selected publications


Additional Grant Information

  • During 2015 Diana held a postdoctoral research post at Abersytwyth University, in the Department of Law and Criminology, and an honorary research fellowship in the College of Law, Criminology, at Swansea University in Wales, UK.   


Education and training

  • PhD, University of Melbourne 2014
  • MA (App Crim), Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology 2005
  • BA (CJA), Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology 2000

Awards and honors

  • PhD scholarship as part of an ARC Discovery grant for the Australian Prisons Project (based at UniMelb and UNSW), University of Melbourne, 2008
  • $2000 prize for Excellence in Research granted by the College of Design and Social Context, RMIT University, 2005
  • Australian Postgraduate Award (APA) for Masters research, RMIT University, 2000



Available for supervision

  • Y

Supervision Statement

  • I will be available for co-supervision from semester two 2016. I am particularly interested in co-supervising work in the following areas: - young people's involvement in crime and/or the justice system - diversion and prevention of youth offending - social developmental and community crime prevention - the experience of imprisonment, post-prison integration and post-release support - qualitative research on vulnerable groups' interaction with the justice system - penal reform and penal policy