Source: (2006) In, Dennis Sullivan and Larry Tifft editors, "Handbook of Restorative Justice" A Global Perspective. London and New York: Routledge. Taylor & Francis Group pp.91-104

Family group conferences in the New Zealand youth justice system have been the centre of international interest since they were introduced there in 1989, and they have since been imitated by a number of countries. Enabling legislation for juvenile offenders has been passed in New Zealand, Australia, England and Wales, Canada, Ireland, and Singapore. Also in New Zealand, legislation has been passed for adult offenders. Various versions of conferencing for young offenders have been introduced in Belgium, Hong Kong, Japan, the Netherlands, South Africa, Sweden, and the United States. More recently, new initiatives have been taken to introduce restorative conferencing in Brazil and Argentina for both adults and young people. In this chapter, we describe restorative justice conferencing for juveniles with a particular emphasis on New Zealand and Australia and assess the extent to which it can be said to reflect restorative justice processes and to result in restorative justice outcomes using research chiefly drawn from Australasia and North America. In addition, we examine data on the extent to which conferencing can reduce re-offending. But first, we discuss the development of restorative justice conferencing. (excerpt)