Source: (2006) paper presented at the University of New England, Armidale, NSW, Australia, 30 November.

In August 2000 a Juvenile Pre-court Diversion Scheme was introduced in the Northern Territory. This scheme, administered by police, uses warnings and conferences, where appropriate, to divert juveniles from the court process, and therefore ultimately from a custodial sentence. This paper reports on preliminary data from a PhD study which analyses the extent to which restorative justice processes, as used in the juvenile diversion scheme, impacted on the amount of re-offending of juveniles over the initial five year period of the Scheme from August 2000 to August 2005. The findings showed that, over the first five years of the Scheme, the majority of juveniles did not re-offend. However, for those who did re-offend, when comparing demographic, geographic, offence and diversion variables, it was found that younger, Indigenous males from regional centres and remote communities had a higher rate of reoffending than juveniles in other demographic and geographic groups. The findings also showed that those juveniles who received a diversion re-offended to a lesser extent than those who had made a court appearance. The results of a Survival Analysis indicated that juveniles who received a diversion were at less risk of re-offending than those who went to court, and that juveniles who attended court re-offended more quickly than those who received a diversion.

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