Source: (1994) In C. Alder and J. Wundersitz (eds.), Family Conferencing and Juvenile Justice: The Way Forward or Misplaced Optimism? Canberra: Australian Institute of Criminology. Pp 15-44.
This paper discusses the police “shame and reintegration” model of Wagga Wagga family group conferences on two areas of concerns: theoretical foundations, and procedures and outcomes. Failure to explain and address social factors such as poverty, racism, sexism and lack of access to community resources is evident by the theory’s focus on reform of individuals. The extension of police powers to include the realm of sentencing and corrections is particularly problematic. Concerns are also expressed about the administration (due process, evaluation, confidentiality and net-widening), the nature of the intervention and the possible outcomes of family group conferences.
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