Source: (1996) In: B. Galaway and J. Hudson (eds.), Restorative Justice: International Perspectives. Monsey, NY: Criminal Justice Press, pp. 315-336.

This essay analyses community conferences, a new form for dealing with crime which originated in New Zealand that utilizes a meeting between victim, offender, and other interested parties to reach a settlement of the case. In Australia conferences are being widely introduced both for juvenile and adult crimes and are also being used in educational settings for dealing with student offenses. This chapter summarizes impediments to reconciliation between offender and victim in community conferences, describes the process of symbolic reparation and reconciliation. Affective responses of participants at conferences are considered, and shame is seen as the difference between conciliation and conflict.