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Restorative Justice for Young People in New Zealand: Lessons from Research

Maxwell, Dr Gabrielle
June 4, 2015

Source: (2006) In, Report on the 2006 COnference — ‘Beyond Retribution.’ Aukland, NZ: Prison Fellowship New Zealand. pp. 93-106.

e New Zealand system of youth justice is unique in being the first (and currently the only)
complete system of youth justice built around principles and practices consistent with a
restorative justice philosophy. is paper describes briefly these key principles and practices.
It then describes and reports on research that examines the extent to which legislative goals
of diversion, participation, empowerment, repair and reintegration have been met. It reports
results that examine the question of the extent to which restorative practices are able to achieve
desired outcomes. Finally it discusses the implications of the data for policy and practice, and
it suggests standards against which effective practice can be benchmarked and key elements of
best practice.
e results demonstrate that restorative principles, policies and practices have the potential to
improve outcomes for children, young people and their families. But at the same time, the data
suggest that simply introducing family group conferences is not enough to change youth justice
outcomes. ere are lessons in this for us all. (author’s abstract)


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