The concept of restorative justice was in its infancy when New Zealand introduced Family Group Conferences as a way of responding to young people who offend. This novel approach is now recognized as the first practical example of a restorative justice process for decision-making in a Western criminal justice system. The research study reported here observed 200 family group conferences in 1990 and interviewed the families, victims, and young people who participated in them. The findings show that giving young people, families, and victims the opportunity to decide on how best to heal the harm and restore the lives of those involved can work in ways that was never possible in the traditional justice system.
About the Author
Dr Gabrielle Maxwell was a senior research fellow at the Institute of Criminology at Victoria University of Wellington at the time of writing this book. Later she was the founding director of the Crime and Justice Research Centre and is now a senior associate at the Institute of Policy Studies. Her research interests have focussed on youth justice, restorative justice, and family violence.
Dr Allison Morris was a visiting fellow at the Institue of Criminology at Victoria University of Wellington (on leave from the Institute of Criminology, University of Cambridge) when the research for this book was carried out. She returned to Victoria University of Wellington in 1993 to become Director of the Institute of Criminolgy, and has written extensively on youth justice and restorative justice. She is now retired and living near Ely in England.