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Family Conferencing: Theoretical and Evaluative Questions

Polk, Kenneth
June 4, 2015

Source: (1994) In C. Alder and J. Wundersitz (eds.), Family Conferencing and Juvenile Justice: The Way Forward or Misplaced Optimism? Canberra: Australian Institute of Criminology. Pp 15-44.

This paper discusses the recent juvenile justice diversion schemes involving family group conferences in New Zealand and Australia from their theoretical perspective and how they compare with previous juvenile justice reform efforts. Developmental and coercive justice institutional responses are compared and their limitations are presented. Polk distinguishes between integrative and reintegrative strategies, and calls for development of both approaches. It is suggested that FGCs are limited to the latter and describes the failure to involve primary institutions. Questions of the effectiveness of FGCs are raised.


AbstractConceptual IssuesConferencesCourtsFamiliesPacificPolicePrisonsRJ and the WorkplaceRJ in SchoolsRJ OfficeRJ TheoryStatutes and LegislationTeachers and Students
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