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Why is Good Restorative Practice Difficult to Implement within Referral Orders and Community Based Sanctions?

Nicholson, Catherine
June 4, 2015

Source: (2005) Paper presented at “The Next Step: Building Restorative Communities”, IIRP 7th International Conference on Conferencing, Circles and other Restorative Practices, 9-11 November, Manchester, England, UK. Downloaded 9 December 2005.

In this session I would like to start with the background to referral orders, describe
some of the difficulties that we have found in achieving good practice, share ideas for
change, leaving the last part of the session for discussion.
For those of you unfamiliar with the Youth Justice System a referral order is the
primary disposal for young offenders pleading guilty and being convicted for the first
time. The court will determine the length of the order depending on the seriousness of
the offence. An order may last between 3- 12 months. Referral orders may be made
for an enormous range of offences – from traffic to assault and burglary.
The referral order was the flagship of the 1998 reforms to the Youth Justice System. It
was designed around restorative justice principles. (excerpt)


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