Source: (2001) Social Policy Journal of New Zealand (December 2001), page 171ff.

This paper presents preliminary findings from an analysis of interviews and file data on a sample of young people who had youth justice family group conferences in New Zealand in 1998. The file data were available on 616 boys and 117 girls and interview data were available from 302 boys and 59 girls. The file data describe the type of offending that occurred, responses to the offending and the reconviction history of the young people as adults. The interview data describe the young people’s background and experiences while growing up, their life since the family group conference and, most importantly, their views of the family group conference. Data have been collected on the memorability of the conference, preparation for it, participation and involvement in it, and agreement with the conference decisions. The feelings of the young person about fairness, respect, remorse, shame, and whether or not they were forgiven and accepted as a person, were explore. The data here suggest that girls were less responsive than boys to restorative aspects of family group conferences, despite their lesser involvement in criminal offending. Some possible reasons for this paradoxical finding are discussed.