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Police and Early Intervention: Procedures and Alternatives

Ford, Kathryn
June 4, 2015

Source: (2001) Hobart, Australia: Tasmania Police Assoc

The goals of restorative justice are restoration of the victim, restoration of the offender to a law-abiding life, and restoration of the damage to the community caused by the crime. These goals are best served when the needs of the victim, the community, and the offender are all met, and each is involved in the process to the greatest extent possible. Conferencing is one of the strategies designed to achieve this. Tasmanian legislation formalized the process known as Diversionary Conferencing in 1995. Police have been made the “gatekeepers” of the juvenile justice system, since they are responsible for diverting youth who have admitted committing the offense at issue. Such diversion may involve an informal caution, a formal caution, or a Community Conference. If a youth admits the commission of an offense and a police officer believes that the matter does not warrant any formal action, the officer may informally caution the youth against further offending and proceed no further against the youth. If an authorized police officer administers a formal caution against further offending, the officer may also require the youth to comply with one or more of the following conditions: pay compensation, make restitution, perform community service, apologize to the victim, or perform other services that may be appropriate under the circumstances of the case. Community Conferences consist of formal discussions among all the parties involved in the case under guidelines designed to reach a formal agreement as to how restoration from the damage caused by the offense is to be achieved. Abstract courtesy of National Criminal Justice Reference Service,


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