Youth Court Senior Judge Steve McEwen will launch both the comic and a brochure focused on child protection issues at the Legal Services Commission, Flinders St, tomorrow.

“South Australia pioneered restorative justice in the youth jurisdiction,” Senior Judge McEwen said today.

“After 20 years of success, we remain experts in conferencing in this field — so it is important to mark this milestone.”

Written by youth justice co-ordinator Marnie Doig and illustrated by Strathalbyn-based artist Simon Kneebone, the comic tells the story of a group of teenagers who steal a car.

Vinh, Matt and Anna are arrested after they crash the vehicle and in plain, easy-to-understand language, the comic charts their journey through the legal system.

By admitting their guilt, the trio are able to avoid appearing in the Youth Court and are instead referred to a family conference — one of the pillars of restorative justice.

Under restorative justice, offenders and victims are brought together to discuss the crime and its impact, and to express fears and concerns.

Young offenders attend family conferences with their parents or guardians — often, compensation agreements are formulated.

CAA studies show that, since the introduction of family conferencing 20 years ago, 32,000 matters have been referred to conferences.

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