Source: (1996) In: J. Hudson, et al. (eds.), Family Group Conferences: Perspectives on Policy and Practice. Monsey, NY: Criminal Justice Press, pp. 88-110.
This analysis reports data on family group conferences for more than 200 juvenile offenders in New Zealand in 1990 and 1991. The principles underlying family group conferences are new, radical, and exciting in that they emphasize diversion, restorative justice, and responding to the needs of youth through strengthening families and acknowledging cultural differences. Results revealed that these conferences achieved diversionary outcomes for the great majority of young offenders. However, crucial questions have been raised about the system’s fairness and its ability to achieve its ideals. Although the process has greater potential than traditional processes to achieve these goals, much depends on practice, resources, and the systems that support the processes.
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