Simone has extensive experience in both the criminal justice and youth justice systems. Before joining Flinders University, Simone was the Principal Advocate for all detained children and young people in South Australia with the Office of the Guardian for Children and Young People. She has undertaken consultancies for local and state governments, including the Commission of Inquiry into the Tasmanian Government's Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Institutional Settings (Ashley Youth Detention Centre). Her research and industry work has impacted upon juvenile detention policies and practices (in areas such as human rights compliance, restrictive disciplinary and intrustive practices and food-related practices) and offered international perspectives on sentencing policies that often ignore juvenile immaturity and impede rehabilitation. Simone has also worked as a criminal defence solicitor with the Legal Services Commission, in private practice, as a supervisor of the UniSA Legal Advice Clinic and as an Associate of the District Court of South Australia. Her key interests include youth offending (including the relationship to broader environmental factors such as the child protection system), homicide, sentencing and the impact of care/correctional settings.
Simone completed a Law/Arts (Biological Sciences) Honours Degree at Flinders University. She was admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of South Australia in 2004.
Simone also has a PhD in Criminology and was the 2015-2019 MH & MF Joyner Scholarship winner for advanced research of original or progressive nature leading to advancement of knowledge in any branch or aspect of law. Her PhD, an Australian first, examined pathways leading juveniles to commit homicide and the impacts of growing up in prison as a result of a life sentence.
In 2017, Simone won the Christine M Alder Book Prize for her book, Young Offenders: Crime, Prison and Struggles for Desistance. Awarded biennially by the peak body, the Australian and New Zealand Society of Criminology (ANZSOC), this award recognises the book which has made the most valuable and outstanding contribution to criminology.
In 2020, Simone's PhD thesis, The Lives and Adjustment Patterns of Juvenile Lifers, was awarded the Flinders University Vice Chancellor's Medal for Doctoral Thesis Excellence.
In 2021, Simone won the ANZSOC Early Career award for the best publication in criminology for her article, The Meaning of Murder: Family Members in the Lives of Juvenile Homicide Offenders, published in the British Journal of Criminology.
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