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NCJ Number: 211660 Find in a Library
Title: Young Women and the Criminal Justice System
Author(s): Christine Alder
Date Published: December 2003
Page Count: 8
Sponsoring Agency: Australian Institute of Criminology
Canberra ACT, 2601, Australia
Sale Source: Australian Institute of Criminology
GPO Box 2944
Canberra ACT, 2601,
Document: PDF
Type: Program/Project Description
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: Australia
Annotation: This paper discusses the implications of the needs and interests of juvenile females for restorative justice practices in family group conferencing.
Abstract: The theories and principles that underlie family conferencing apparently offer young women more meaningful involvement in key juvenile justice decisionmaking, the creation of new opportunities for community involvement, and respect for the integrity and dignity of the offender; however, in practice, women apparently have difficulty completing community-based orders, which are typically part of family conferencing agreements. Some difficulties that female juveniles have under the format of family conferencing are talking about their offending due to their sense of shame and self-blame; their careful management of what they tell about themselves and their experiences, to whom, and when; and their reluctance to share their feelings with others without a context for building a relationship of trust with them. For these and other reasons, research on girls' reactions to family conferencing have tended to be less favorable than those of boys. Generally, girls were less likely to feel they were consulted about the process, tended to have less positive responses to victims, were more likely to feel they were not treated fairly and were viewed as untrustworthy, and were less likely to believe that they had been forgiven or were being given another chance. These findings suggest that girls may feel more like victims than offenders in terms of their experiences in the community and in the juvenile justice system. This means that victims, family members, community representatives and other participants in family conferences with girls must be prepared to show support for girls who may have been abused, blamed, and shamed in past experiences in the family, the community, and the juvenile justice system. 19 references
Main Term(s): Female juvenile delinquents
Index Term(s): Family conferencing; Foreign juvenile justice systems; Juvenile correctional programs; Restorative Justice; Victim-offender reconciliation
Note: Paper presented at the Juvenile Justice: From Lessons of the Past to a Road Map for the Future Conference, held in Sydney, December 1-2, 2003; downloaded October 14, 2005.
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