Source: (2013) Paper presented at Australasian Youth Justice Conference—Changing trajectories of offending and reoffending. National Convention Centre Canberra 20-22 May 2013.

Community Conferencing was introduced in Tasmania following the proclamation of the Youth Justice Act 1997 in February 2000. After thirteen years of practice under substantially the same statutory authority, it is perhaps timely that community conference practice in Northern Tasmania is being reviewed. Thirteen years is a long time to be doing the same job, and whilst the job is necessarily done differently on a case by case basis, there is an emerging realisation that both the external process of referral and internal guidelines for preparation and conduct of a conference require appraisal. This realisation is also in the context of emerging complexity of young people who commit crime, in terms of their personal and social characteristics and the offences they are committing. This paper does not seek to present an easy solution to these issues but rather outline recent thinking that has taken place in the Community Conference program in Northern Tasmania. Through operational experience, a practice direction is emerging that takes into account the various complexities that have become apparent, but that also requires support through review of policy and procedural standards currently implemented in Tasmanian Youth Justice Services. (excerpt)

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