Source: (2013) Paper presented at Australasian Youth Justice Conferenceâ€”Changing trajectories of offending and reoffending. National Convention Centre Canberra 20-22 May 2013.
Community Conferencing was introduced in Tasmania following the proclamation of the Youth
Justice Act 1997 in February 2000. After thirteen years of practice under substantially the same
statutory authority, it is perhaps timely that community conference practice in Northern Tasmania is
being reviewed. Thirteen years is a long time to be doing the same job, and whilst the job is
necessarily done differently on a case by case basis, there is an emerging realisation that both the
external process of referral and internal guidelines for preparation and conduct of a conference
require appraisal. This realisation is also in the context of emerging complexity of young people who
commit crime, in terms of their personal and social characteristics and the offences they are
This paper does not seek to present an easy solution to these issues but rather outline recent
thinking that has taken place in the Community Conference program in Northern Tasmania.
Through operational experience, a practice direction is emerging that takes into account the various
complexities that have become apparent, but that also requires support through review of policy
and procedural standards currently implemented in Tasmanian Youth Justice Services. (excerpt)
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