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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 153560 Find in a Library
Title: Family, Victims and Culture: Youth Justice in New Zealand
Author(s): G M Maxwell; A Morris
Date Published: 1993
Page Count: 243
Sponsoring Agency: Victoria University of Wellington
Wellington, New Zealand
Publication Number: ISBN 0-475-11017-X
Sale Source: Victoria University of Wellington
Institute of Criminology
Private Bag P.O. Box 600
New Zealand
Type: Survey
Language: English
Country: New Zealand
Annotation: The youth justice system in New Zealand is analyzed.
Abstract: This report analyzes the effects of The Children Young Persons and Their Families Act 1989 (Act). This Act established the Youth Court to replace the former Children and Young Persons Court and created a new forum, the Family Group Conference (FGC), aimed at providing an alternative to court proceedings as a means of dealing with juvenile offenders. The FGC involves families in the decisionmaking process as to the appropriate response to the juvenile's offense. This report is the first major research study, carried out less than 1 year after the implementation of the Act, into the way this youth justice system is working. Methodology included a large-scale survey of the various components of the system, from the decisions of front-line police officers through to the outcomes of the proceedings in the FGC and the Youth Court. Findings of the study are encouraging. Fewer juvenile offenders have appeared before the court or have been convicted than before the Act came into effect. Fewer juvenile offenders have been sentenced to prison, corrective training, or residence in Department of Social Welfare (DSW) custody. Despite these reductions, juvenile offenders are being held accountable to a greater extent than in the past -- by being required either to make an apology or to pay reparation or to carry out work in the community. Results of the study do indicate, however, several problem areas. Police, DSW, and FGC practices have been uneven and idiosyncratic in different areas. Increased involvement of the DSW and increased communication with the juvenile offender's family are needed as are additional support services for the juvenile offender and his family. The Youth Court needs to continue to be mindful of cultural differences and adjust its proceedings accordingly. Tables, references, a glossary of Maori words, four appendixes, and a publications list are included.
Main Term(s): Juvenile court reform
Index Term(s): Juvenile justice reform; Juvenile justice system; Juvenile victims; New Zealand
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