Source: (2003) In, Lode Walgrave, ed., Repositioning Restorative Justice. Devon: Willan Publishing. Pp.136-148.

The authors of this chapter claim that research indicates that family group conferences have the potential to achieve several positive objectives: to induce remorse in offenders; to assist families and young people to take responsibility for causing harm; to repair the harm; and to prevent or reduce re-offending. They can lead to outcomes that are deemed satisfactory by victims, offenders, families, and justice professionals. However, note the authors, the relatively small number of girls who offend has made it difficult for researchers to answer questions as to whether there are significant gender issues in relation to family group conferencing. Specifically, do girls respond differently from boys in a restorative process? To begin to address this question, the authors have embarked on a large-scale retrospective study of previously held family group conferences. In this chapter they present preliminary findings from their study.