Northern Ireland Justice Minister David Ford told the Belfast Telegraph recently: “The Youth Conferencing system works extremely well in Northern Ireland in challenging young offenders to face up to the emotional and physical consequences of their actions.
….In a recently-published report, the UKâ€™s Independent Commission on Youth Crime and Anti Social Behaviour www.youthcrimecommission.org.uk/ â€“ a charity which is organised by the Police Foundation www.police-foundation.org.uk with funding from the Nuffield Trust www.nuffieldfoundation.org/ â€“ cited the Northern Ireland experience as one of the reasons why restorative justice should be applied to youth offending in England and Wales.
The Commission conducted an 18-month study into alternatives to the existing responses to youth crime in England and Wales and concluded that restorative justice meetings, known as â€˜youth conferencingâ€™, are the way to deliver better justice for the victims of crime, while cutting re-offending rates and reducing the number of young people who end up in prison.
….Meanwhile, the Restorative Justice Consortium www.restorativejustice.org.uk/? and Victim Support www.victimsupport.org.uk/ have produced a joint report which claims that the introduction of restorative justice in England and Wales for victims of adult offenders would save the Criminal Justice System Â£185 million over two years by cutting re-offending by 27 per cent.
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