Conferencing

Juvenile Justice administers youth justice conferences under Part 5 of the Young Offenders Act 1997. Police and courts refer young people for youth justice conferences when they have committed eligible offences that are too serious for warnings or cautions, or they have exceeded the maximum number of cautions available to them.

Conferences bring young offenders, their families and supporters face-to-face with victims, their supporters and police to discuss the crime and how people have been affected. Other experts and respected members of the community may also be invited to participate. Together, they agree on a suitable outcome that can include an apology, reasonable reparation to victims, and steps to reconnect the young person with their community to help them desist from further offending.

Objectives

  • To hold young people accountable and assist them to take responsibility for their behaviour.
  • To enhance the rights and place of victims in the juvenile justice process.
  • To empower families and victims in making decisions about a young person's criminal behaviour.
  • To provide reasonable reparation to victims.
  • To provide young people with developmental and support services to enable them to overcome offending behaviour and become a fully autonomous individual.
  • To address the over representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people in the criminal justice system.

Organisation

Youth justice conferencing is administered from 17 community offices across NSW. Conferences are facilitated by convenors: individuals who live and work in local communities and are engaged by contract on a case by case basis.

Services

Services provided by youth justice conferencing include:

  • Administering the youth justice conferencing diversionary legal process.
  • Identifying and preparing participants for youth justice conferences.
  • Facilitating youth justice conferences.
  • Referring victims to support services to assist with the impacts of crime.
  • Referring young offenders to services in the community.
  • Monitoring outcome plans.