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Youth justice conferences: Participant profile and conference characteristics.

Taussig, Isabel
June 4, 2015

Source: (2012) Crime and Justice Statistics Bureau Brief. Issue Paper no. 75. NSW Bureau of Crime and Statistics Research.

Aim: The aim of this brief is to describe the experience of attending a Youth Justice Conference (YJC), with regard
to how long conferences take, who attends, what kinds of outcomes are agreed on, and whether these factors
change in respect to the age, Indigenous status or gender of the young offender, or the location of the conference.
Method: This study utilised data from the Re-Offending Database (ROD) maintained by the New South Wales Bureau
of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) for 2010, together with data from the Client Information Management
System (CIMS) maintained by the Department of Juvenile Justice for the 2009–2010 financial year.
Results: 54.2 per cent of referrals to a YJC came from a court, however this varied by offender demographics and
location. Four-fifths (81.4%) of young offenders were male, 23.9 per cent identified as Indigenous, and the average
age was 15.6 years. One-half (52%) of YJCs were held in the Metropolitan region. The most frequent outcome task
was an apology (1,484 plans, 79.6%) however the content of plans and the number of tasks varied by offender
demographics and location. Most (88.7%) outcome plans were completed and this varied by offender demographics
and location but not by type or number of tasks. A typical conference took place two months after referral, lasted
71 minutes, and nine weeks later the Outcome Plan was completed, although there were regional differences. The
victim attended 41.5 per cent of the time and in 51.2 per cent of conferences the young offender’s mother attended. (excerpt)


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