Source: (2004) Paper presented at “New Frontiers in Restorative Justice: Advancing Theory and Practice”, Centre for Justice and Peace Development, Massey University at Albany, New Zealand, 2-5 December. Downloaded 24 March 2005.
In Victoria, Australia, restorative justice conferencing is used as a pre-sentence option in the Childrens Court for offenders who would otherwise receive correctional supervision. Since 1995 when the first pilots were introduced, a trend for more serious violent offences to be referred has occurred. This paper will look at some of the practice issues that workers face when preparing participants, facilitating a conference and following through with agreed plans after court for a conference involving resolution of a serious, violent offence such as armed robbery, affray and serious assault. The paper will explore from practice experience the capacity and limitations of restorative justice conferencing in humanizing the sentencing process, achieving reconciliation and reparation, and providing new sentencing solutions for the existing criminal justice system. The challenge to consolidate the existing Childrens Court program and expand into the adult court for the young adult offender population will be briefly outlined. Abstract courtesy of the Centre for Justice and Peace Development, Massey University, http://justpeace.massey.ac.nz.
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