Source: (1999) Institute of Criminology, Wellington. 1999.

This report examines whether or not family group conferences can contribute to the reintegration of offenders and to the prevention of reoffending. It also provides a method of retrospective analysis which can be used to model factors affecting reoffending. Data on early life experiences and offending histories, family group conference experiences, and post family group conference experiences including reconviction history are presented based on file information on, and interviews with, 108 young people who had offended and had a family group conference in 1990/91. Information was also available on 98 of these young people from their parents. Results of statistical analyses indicate that the experience at family group conferences can have an impact on reconviction independently of other early life events and that those factors relating to family group conferences which are effective predictors of reconviction reflect key restorative values, processes and outcomes. The implications of the results of this research for the youth justice system and for the prevention of offending and reoffending are discussed.