Source: (1995) Update: The Church Council on Justice and Corrections. (Fall): 6-8. Ottawa, Canada.

Family group conferencing is a promising justice process that is rooted in Maori tradition and has evolved in New Zealand and Australia largely from people's frustration in not experiencing justice in courts. "The Maori peoplewere upset that the courts were usurping their role and power as parents," recalled Matt Hakiaha, a youth justice co-ordinator for familiy conferences and a Maori himself. "Victims of crimes felt they had less of a voice than John the Baptist in the wilderness who at least got to talk to the locusts and plant!" While there are significant differences between and within countries, family conferences bring together offenders, victims and their respective families and support groups to deal with the consequenses of a particular incident or crime. They are seem to strengthen families and communities to deal creatively with crime, diverting many cases from the formal justice system (excerpt)