Source: (2012) Crime and Justice Bulletin. NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research.Number 164.
Aim: To compare the cost-effectiveness of Youth Justice Conferences (YJCs) to matters eligible for YJCs but dealt with
in the Childrenâ€™s Court.
Method: The costs for Police, Legal Aid, Childrenâ€™s Court, Juvenile Justice YJC administration and Juvenile Justice
administration of court orders were separately estimated using a combination of top-down and bottom-up costing methods.
These were combined with data from matched samples of young people who were to be dealt with by a YJC and young
people who could have been dealt with by a YJC but instead were dealt with in the Childrenâ€™s Court in 2007 in order to
estimate average costs per person for each process.
Results: The average cost of a YJC was estimated to be about 18 per cent less than the average cost of a comparable
matter dealt with in the Childrenâ€™s Court. This result was robust under variation of most assumptions (or combinations of
assumptions). However, if marginal costs for the Childrenâ€™s Court and costs for administering Childrenâ€™s Court orders are
low, then it may be more efficient to deal with an additional young person by court rather than by YJC.
Conclusion: When viewed in totality, the YJC scheme is more cost-effective than the Childrenâ€™s Court. (author’s abstract)
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