Evaluation of the Family Group Conferencing pilot program
from the report by Boxall, Morgan and Terer
The outcome evaluation provided some evidence that the FGC pilot program had delivered a number of positive short-term outcomes for the small number of families and professionals who were involved in the program. These outcomes included:
Evaluation of alternative dispute resolution initiatives in the care and protection jurisdiction of the NSW Children's Court
The post-conference surveys completed by parents and family members, legal representatives and Community Services Caseworkers and Managers Casework were analysed to determine participant satisfaction with the conference process and outcomes.
There was a high level of satisfaction among parents and family members with the conference process, particularly in terms of having an opportunity to tell their side of the story, other people listening to what they had to say and being treated fairly. A number of parents and family members who participated in a conference said that it was the first time they felt that they had been given an opportunity to speak directly to the other parties and to express their point of view.
Youth Justice Conferences versus Children’s Court: A comparison of cost-effectiveness
Aim: To compare the cost-effectiveness of Youth Justice Conferences (YJCs) to matters eligible for YJCs but dealt with in the Children’s Court.
Method: The costs for Police, Legal Aid, Children’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 Children’s Court in 2007 in order to estimate average costs per person for each process.
Criminal, victim meetings 'don't stop recidivism'
....The New South Wales Bureau of Crime Statistics has analysed a program that brings young offenders face-to-face with victims of crime.
It says it makes no difference to the rate at which they go on to commit more crimes.
Conventional and innovative justice responses to sexual violence
from the article by Kathleen Daly in ACSSA Issues:
Despite 30 years of significant change to the way the criminal justice system responds to sexual violence, conviction rates have gone down in Australia, Canada, and England and Wales. Victim/survivors continue to express dissatisfaction with how the police and courts handle their cases and with their experience of the trial process. Many commentators and researchers recognise that the crux of the problem is cultural beliefs about gender and sexuality, which dilute and undermine the intentions of rape law reform.2 These beliefs affect victims adversely, but at the same time, increased criminalisation and penalisation of offenders is not likely to yield constructive outcomes.
This paper reflects on the limits of legal reform in improving outcomes for victim/survivors. Given the extent of reform to procedural, substantive, and evidentiary aspects of sexual assault legal cases, we may have exhausted its potential to change the response to sexual assault. We may need to consider innovative justice responses, which may be part of the legal system or lie beyond it.
New Zealand study: Reoffending Analysis for Restorative Justice Cases: 2008 and 2009
The aim of this study was to determine whether restorative justice conferences led to reduced reoffending. It is based on data for offenders completing conferences in 2008 and 2009 compared with a similar group of offenders who did not receive restorative justice.
The principal finding of the report is that restorative justice had a statistically significant impact on reducing the proportion of people reoffending, and for those who did reoffend, there is an indication of a reduction in the frequency of reoffending and a lower rate of imprisonment.