Source: (2005) Paper presented at "The Next Step: Building Restorative Communities", IIRP 7th International Conference on Conferencing, Circles and other Restorative Practices, 9-11 November, Manchester, England, UK. Downloaded 9 December 2005.

In this session I would like to start with the background to referral orders, describe some of the difficulties that we have found in achieving good practice, share ideas for change, leaving the last part of the session for discussion. For those of you unfamiliar with the Youth Justice System a referral order is the primary disposal for young offenders pleading guilty and being convicted for the first time. The court will determine the length of the order depending on the seriousness of the offence. An order may last between 3- 12 months. Referral orders may be made for an enormous range of offences – from traffic to assault and burglary. The referral order was the flagship of the 1998 reforms to the Youth Justice System. It was designed around restorative justice principles. (excerpt)

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