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Restorative justice and its impact on the re-offending of juveniles in regional and remote Australia: A Northern Territory perspective.

Cunningham, Teresa
June 4, 2015

Source: (2006) paper presented at the University of New England, Armidale, NSW, Australia, 30 November.

In August 2000 a Juvenile Pre-court Diversion Scheme was introduced in the Northern
Territory. This scheme, administered by police, uses warnings and conferences, where
appropriate, to divert juveniles from the court process, and therefore ultimately from a
custodial sentence. This paper reports on preliminary data from a PhD study which
analyses the extent to which restorative justice processes, as used in the juvenile
diversion scheme, impacted on the amount of re-offending of juveniles over the initial
five year period of the Scheme from August 2000 to August 2005.
The findings showed that, over the first five years of the Scheme, the majority of
juveniles did not re-offend. However, for those who did re-offend, when comparing
demographic, geographic, offence and diversion variables, it was found that younger,
Indigenous males from regional centres and remote communities had a higher rate of reoffending
than juveniles in other demographic and geographic groups. The findings also
showed that those juveniles who received a diversion re-offended to a lesser extent than
those who had made a court appearance. The results of a Survival Analysis indicated that
juveniles who received a diversion were at less risk of re-offending than those who went
to court, and that juveniles who attended court re-offended more quickly than those who
received a diversion.


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