Mr Masagos, who also chairs the National Committee on Youth Guidance and Rehabilitation (NYGR), said restorative justice, which balances deterrence with rehabilitation, is effective in reintegrating youth-at-risk back into society.

He added that restorative techniques focus on repairing harm and restoring relationships instead of assigning blame and dispensing punishment.

He cited Lutheran Community Care Services (LCCS) which used restorative practices to help Ping Yi Secondary School bring the number of disciplinary cases involving smoking and fights among students down. Punctuality at the school also improved by eight per cent over two terms.

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