Dr Melissa de Vel-Palumbo

Senior Lecturer

College of Business, Government and Law

place Law & Commerce (3.35)
GPO Box 2100, Adelaide 5001, South Australia

Broadly speaking, I am interested in issues at the nexus of psychology and the criminal justice system.

My research, which employs quantitative and qualitative methods, is focused on two areas: (1) psychosocial needs of perpetrators; and (2) lay perceptions of crime. My key area of research investigates (1) the social and psychological factors that facilitate reconciliation and reintegration—from the perspective of the perpetrator—in order to understand the efficacy of various approaches to crime prevention. I approach this question from an applied criminological basis (e.g., the effects of sanctions and other responses to injustice on people who commit transgressions) as well as from a basic psychological basis (e.g., processes of change, emotion and identity regulation, and rehabiliation). A second research stream involves examining (2) lay views about crime—particularly moral judgments, punitive attitudes, and justice-related cognitions that may come into conflict with the rehabilitative and reintegrative goals of correctional policy.


Doctor of Philosophy (Psychology) - 2018 (Flinders University)
Master of Psychology (Forensic) - 2012 (UNSW)
Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) - 2009 (Adelaide University)

Honours, awards and grants

Grants-in-Aid for Early Career Professionals - 2021-2022 (American Psychology-Law Society APA Division 41) with Dr. Colleen Berryessa, Rutgers University
Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship - 2019-2020 (European Commission)

Topic coordinator
CRIM1102 Criminal justice system
CRIM3402 Advanced research methods and analysis
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Media expertise
  • Crime
  • Morality
  • Psychology
  • Rehabilitation