Source: (2010) Trends & Issues in Crime and Criminal Justice. No. 398(July).
During the 1990s, restorative justice became firmly established as a new approach for
responding to juvenile crime. Restorative justice measures are most commonly used to
divert juvenile offenders from the formal criminal justice system, although they also exist
in a variety of other contexts across Australiaâ€™s jurisdictions, such as in circle sentencing
and victim-offender mediation programs for adult offenders (Daly & Proietti-Scifoni 2009).
Although there are many definitions of restorative justice, the following definition by Marshall
(1996: 37) has gained widespread acceptance: â€˜[restorative justice is] a process whereby all
the parties with a stake in a particular offence come together to resolve collectively how to
deal with the aftermath of the offence and its implications for the futureâ€™. While the rationale
for restorative justice programs varies among Australian jurisdictions, in general, restorative
justice measures seek to repair the harm caused by crime, to actively involve offenders,
victims and communities in the criminal justice process and to provide a constructive
intervention for juvenile offending.
This paper provides an overview of the legislative and policy context of restorative justice
practices for juveniles in each Australian state and territory. It also outlines recent data that
indicate the numbers and characteristics of juveniles referred to restorative justice programs
by police and the offences for which they are referred, where these data are available. This
paper is exploratory in nature and aims to identify future research issues relating to
restorative justice for juveniles in Australia. (excerpt)
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