Source: (2006) Sydney NSW, Australia: New South Wales Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research.

This study investigated the rate of reoffending among young people who were cautioned by New South Wales (NSW) Police or who participated in a youth justice conference for the first time in 1999. Results of this study showed that continued contact with the criminal justice system also occurred among those participating in diversionary alternatives to court; however, this contact seemed less common. This is particularly true for offenders who are older at their first caution or conference, female offenders, and non-Indigenous offenders. Although the study showed a clear difference in the rate of appearance in court for those given a caution versus a conference, this difference should not be taken as an indication of the relative effectiveness of cautions versus conferences in reducing juvenile reoffending. Since 1998, a significant proportion of young offenders in New South Wales (NSW) have been dealt with by warning caution or youth justice conference under the Young Offenders Act of 1997 rather than proceeding through the traditional court system. Utilizing two cohorts of young people, one of which was cautioned by NSW Police in 1999 and the other completing a youth justice conference, this study describes the likelihood and frequency of reoffending, the time it takes to reoffend, and the likelihood of receiving a penalty of imprisonment all within 5 years of the caution or conference. (Abstract courtesy of the National Criminal Justice Reference Service, www.ncjrs.org.


Read Full Article