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Viewpoints on Young Women and Family Group Conferences

Baines, M
June 4, 2015

Source: (1996) In, C. Alder and M. Baines, eds. … And When She Was Bad? Working With Young Women in Juvenile Justice and Related Areas. Hobart Tasmania:National Clearinghouse for Youth Studies.

Seven persons who have worked with family conferences in Australia comment on their benefits in working with female delinquents and some problems in such an intervention. Two people note that family conferences offer young women the opportunity to contribute to their own sentencing plan. They participate in an informal meeting where information is shared about their offending and its impact on the victim, themselves, and their family. Another professional advises that family group conferences offer a way of deciding how matters can be resolved in a relatively informal setting and in partnership with all participants. A third view of the benefits of family conferences for female offenders is that these young women have the opportunity, perhaps for the first time, to talk freely about their offenses and to be heard in a way that influences how their lives are impacted by the offense. Some concerns raised about family conferences for young women are the handling of a family member’s sexual abuse of the young woman, power and control issues in conference dynamics, and the lack of visibility of conference procedures. Abstract courtesy of National Criminal Justice Reference Service,


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