School of Arts

Dr Rachel Hale

Position: Lecturer
Student Area: Criminal Justice
Location: Berwick Campus, 901 Level 2
Phone: 5122 6027


Doctor of Philosophy - Monash University - 2014

Bachelor of Arts (Honours) - Monash University - 2009

Certificate IV Government Investigations - ICETS - 2017



  • Bachelor of Criminal Justice (HJ5)


  • Explanations of crime (CRJUS1287)
  • Policing in practice (CRJUS2474)
  • Punishment, penalty and rehabilitation (CRJUS2300)
  • Crime in contemporary practice (CRJUS1286)


Dr Rachel Hale is a Criminologist and qualified government investigator. Rachel has taught Criminology at various institutions across Victoria since 2010 and has a passion for encouraging critical analysis of crime and justice issues through problem-based learning. Prior to joining Federation University in 2018, Rachel undertook various roles within the justice and human services sector, including working in the oversight of the adult corrections system, investigating critical incidents in disability services, and working within the Youth Justice system and Coroners Court. Rachel’s most challenging role was as a Senior Education Advisor with Victoria Police in the area of workplace sex discrimination, sexual harassment and predatory behaviour. The accumulation of these experiences enables Rachel to prepare students to work in and around the justice system, offering insight into various career pathways and options.

Areas of expertise

Rachel possesses expertise in gender and the Criminal Justice System. Methodologically, her expertise lies in qualitative research methods, specifically conducting interviews with relatively vulnerable groups on sensitive topics. She has strong theoretical expertise in Criminology regarding explanations of offending and desistance (non-offending), critical feminist theory, rural criminology, and punishment, power and politics. Given her prior experience working in and researching the corrections system, she possesses expertise in the nature, function, and impact of imprisonment.

Research interests

Rachel has interest in the following research areas:

  • Gender and the criminal (in) justice system
  • The criminalisation of girls and women
  • Desistance from crime
  • Reintegration and post-release pathways
  • Rural victimisation, access to justice, and punishment
  • Critical perspectives on grief and trauma



Hale, R. (2020). Good intentions: Women’s narratives of post-release anticipatory desistance in the context of historical and contemporary disadvantage and trauma. Feminist Criminology, 15, 519-544.

Book chapters

Hale, R., Stewart, North, M., & Harkness, A. (forthcoming 2021). Post-disaster Access to Justice: The Road Ahead for Australian Rural Communities. In Harkness, A., & White, R. (Eds.). Crossroads of rural crime. United Kingdom: Emerald Publishing.


Hale, R., McSherry, B., Paterson, J., Brophy, L., and Arstein-Kerslake, A, (2017) Consumer Transactions: Equitable Support Models for Individuals with Decision-making Impairments. Melbourne: University of Melbourne.

Public commentary

Living Free Project: Re-writing the narrative podcast. What the research tells us.

Criminalised women and COVID-19


  • International Society for the Study of Rural Crime (ISSRC) - member
  • Australian and New Zealand Society of Evidence Based Policing - member
  • Editorial Advisory Board - Research in Rural Crime series (Bristol University Press)
  • Research Associate – University of New England, Centre for Rural Criminology
  • Justice Transition Alliance (VACRO) – member


Present doctoral students

Melina Stewart-North – The nature, influences, and impacts of Netilantism in Australia – Principal supervisor

Jennifer Nicholls – Women’s experiences of health care pre, during and post incarceration in Victoria: do they reflect through-care principles and human rights frameworks – Associate supervisor.

Francesca Gullaci - Emergent Technology in Drug Crimes: An Australian Perspective – Associate Supervisor.

Present honours students

Shannon Heylen - Criminal justice responses and diversionary pathways for young indigenous women.

Miranda Jordan - Community perceptions of crime, crime prevention, and safety.