Source: (2004) The Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology. 37(2): 167-191.

This paper adds to a growing body of Australian research on conferencing and re-offending. We gathered data from conference case files and offending history records for 200 young offenders who were conferenced in southeast Queensland from April 1997 to May 1999 to assess the impact of offender characteristics and conference features on future offending behaviour. After three to five years following their conference, just over half (56%) of the young offenders in our sample went on to commit one or more offences. Bivariate analyses show that offenders’ age at conference, age at first offence, gender, and prior offending history are associated with post-conference offending. Survival analysis demonstrates how these offender characteristics impacted upon estimated probabilities of re-offending. However, the conference measures were not significantly associated with post-conference offending because of little to no variation. We conclude that while there remains uncertainty about how conference features are related to re-offending, what offenders bring to their conference is highly predictive of what they do afterwards. Authors' abstract.

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