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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 200226 Find in a Library
Title: Restorative Justice Initiatives in New Zealand (From UNAFEI Annual Report for 2000 and Resource Material Series No. 59, P 106-112, 2002, -- See NCJ-200221)
Author(s): Pamela Phillips
Date Published: October 2002
Page Count: 7
Sponsoring Agency: United Nations Asia and Far East Institute for the Prevention of Crime and Treatment of Offenders
Tokyo, Japan
Sale Source: United Nations Asia and Far East Institute for the Prevention of Crime and Treatment of Offenders
26-1 Harumi-Cho, Fuchu
Type: Legislation/Policy Description
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: Japan
Annotation: This document discusses the Family Group Conference as one of the restorative justice initiatives in New Zealand.
Abstract: The Youth Justice Family Group Conference (FGC) is a statutory decisionmaking process involving the youth offender (alleged or proved), members of their family/whanau, and the victim of the offense and their supporters. The FGC is a forum to determine whether the young person has committed the alleged offense, and, where the offense is admitted, to develop a plan ensuring that the young person is held accountable, the interests of the victim are taken into account, the family deals with the offending, and the principles of the Children, Young Persons and Their Families Act are followed. The information shared during the conference cannot be used in the courts, or be published. The principles of the act include keeping the offender in the community and taking sanctions that promote the development of the offender within their family group. The different types of referrals for a FGC include a child offender (10-13 years inclusive); a young person (14-16 years inclusive) alleged to have committed an offense; a young person in custody on denial of offense; a young person appearing in court where the offense is not denied; and a charge against a young person has been proved. Persons entitled to attend the FGC include the young person, a parent or guardian, a Youth Justice Coordinator, a police officer, any victims and support persons, and a Youth Advocate. Thorough preparation is the key to a successful FGC. The coordinator must be perceived as fair, non-judgmental, and sensitive to the participants concerns. The opening of the conference is usually determined by cultural protocol. Each participant tells his or her story to elicit the facts of the offense and the impact of the young person’s actions on all participants. A family private deliberation time follows. Then all the participants work to develop a fair and workable plan that meets everyone’s needs for repairing the harm done by the young person’s actions. All conference participants sign an agreement and compliance is necessary.
Main Term(s): Family conferencing; New Zealand
Index Term(s): Alternative dispute settlement; Family crisis training; Family intervention programs; Family support; Juvenile diversion programs; Victim services
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