Achieving restorative justice: assessing contrition and forgiveness in the adult conference process

 
Author(s)Halsey, Mark, Andrew Goldsmith and David Bamford
Title Achieving restorative justice: assessing contrition and forgiveness in the adult conference process
Source Australian & New Zealand Journal of Criminology,Published online 30 June 2014, pp1-15
Date 2014
Document type Journal article
Coverage Australia
Summary This study reviewed nine adult conferences conducted as part of a 12 month pilot commencing in 2004 in the Adelaide Magistrates Court, through the advocacy of the South Australian Centre for Restorative Justice. Cases were referred to conferencing by magistrates where the magistrate considered the conference would benefit the victim and the offender and a facilitator would also assess whether the case was suitability for conferencing. The main aim of the pilot program was to provide better victim involvement in the criminal justice process. It was found that restorative justice conferences were greatly valued by victims and the reasons for this included being able to put a face to the person who had victimised them, to speak their mind and to contribute to a sense of closure. Offenders were generally found to appreciate the opportunity to speak to their victims without the restraints of formal court proceedings. Some of the issues raised by participants in the study were conference eligibility, confidentiality and a concern that the pilot had not been proactively managed to ensure a greater number of conferences in the pilot period.
Keywords Restorative justice; adult conferences; pilot program; outcomes; justice.
Topic Restorative justice