Source: (1998) Western Criminology Review 1(1).

Family group conferences were introduced in New Zealand in 1989. Despite the absence of specific reference to restorative justice in the debates introducing them, their underlying philosophy incorporates key features of restorative justice. This article describes the role family group conferences play, drawing from research we conducted from 1990 to 1991 and in 1996. In particular, it reviews the extent to which young people, their families, and victims can come together to decide how best to deal with the young person's offending. It suggests that the findings from this research provide a sufficient basis for New Zealand to move further forward in the implementation of restorative justice processes for adult offenders and for other countries wishing to move towards more restorative approaches to consider family group conferences as a useful strategy.

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