Restorative Justice ALTERNATIVE METHODS OF SENTENCING

Report
ALTERNATIVE
METHODS OF
SENTENCING
Including
Circle Sentencing
Restorative Justice
ASSESS the role of alternative
methods of sentencing
ALTERNATIVE
METHODS OF
SENTENCING
Including
Circle Sentencing
Restorative Justice
In Nowra, Mounty County, etc
Not an “easy option” (punishments are often harsher)
ALTERNATIVE
METHODS OF
SENTENCING
Circle Sentencing
Including
Circle Sentencing
Restorative Justice
The Board of Studies requires you to be able to assess the
ROLE of Circle Sentencing. So, we’ll look at both the
outcomes AND what ROLE Circle Sentencing can play…
So what are the ACTUAL outcomes?
‘Does circle sentencing reduce Aboriginal
reoffending?’, BOCSAR (2008)
“the evidence presented here
suggests that circle sentencing
has no effect on the frequency,
timing
or
seriousness
of
offending”
So, yeah, not real good. BUT………….
ALTERNATIVE
METHODS OF
SENTENCING
Including
Circle Sentencing
Restorative Justice
Circle Sentencing
Reducing reoffending is not the only GOAL of Circle Sentencing (it’s
actually down the bottom of the list of the goals of Circle Sentencing).
So does it have ANOTHER ROLE? Does it do anything else?
“If it strengthens the informal social controls that
exist in Aboriginal communities, circle sentencing
may have a crime prevention value that cannot be
quantified through immediate changes in the risk
of reoffending for individuals”
‘Does circle sentencing reduce Aboriginal reoffending?’,
BOCSAR (2008)
So, it hasn’t necessarily failed if it is doing
other (longer-term) things, which means
that it still has a place in our justice
system (THAT’S an assessment)
ALTERNATIVE
METHODS OF
SENTENCING
Circle Sentencing
Including
Circle Sentencing
Restorative Justice
But despite these questions…
Circle Sentencing expanded in NSW (SMH 2010)
Circle Sentencing isn’t exactly the same as it was when it started
in Nowra. It was evaluated in 2008 (the year the BOCSAR report
came out) and a few improvements were made.
So, the NSW government is bringing it to a few more regional
areas… and Blacktown…
ALTERNATIVE
METHODS OF
SENTENCING
Including
Circle Sentencing
Restorative Justice
Restorative Justice
The problem that a lot of people have with our criminal justice system
is that the victims are not very involved in the prosecution of the
crime. That’s why they’re usually not really satisfied with the
outcome, even if the offender ends up in jail.
‘Restorative Justice’ is the name given to any program
where the offender AND the people affected by the
crime (especially the victim, but also families, youth
workers, etc) come together to try to work out what
should happen.
The idea is for the person to show remorse (“I’m sorry”), to make
amends (“I’ll fix it”) and, sometimes, show how they’ll avoid doing
it again (“I’ll change; I’ll go into a program”).
If you forgot what it is in an exam, just look at the word – restorative, like, RESTORE, like, fix things back to the way they
were. As opposed to the idea of retribution, which the rest of the criminal justice system seems to be based on…
ALTERNATIVE
METHODS OF
SENTENCING
Restorative Justice
Including
Circle Sentencing
Restorative Justice
For juveniles…
The Young Offenders Act 1997 (NSW) allows police OR
the Children’s Court to send young people to
‘Youth Justice Conferencing’
For those who are 18+…
There was a trial of ‘Forum Sentencing’ since 2005 in
Liverpool and Tweed.
ALTERNATIVE
METHODS OF
SENTENCING
Including
Circle Sentencing
Restorative Justice
Restorative Justice
Does it reduce recidivism?
Nope.
For 10-17 year olds…
The way that Youth Justice Conferencing works in NSW is NO MORE
EFFECTIVE THAN THE CHILDREN’S COURT in reducing reoffending - Youth
Justice Conferencing vs Children’s Court: A comparison of re-offending,
BOCSAR (2012)
For 18-24 year olds…
A trial of Forum Sentencing for young adults didn’t go so well Does Forum
Sentencing reduce the risk of reoffending? BOCSAR (2009) and studies of
similar programs in NZ and the UK found little or no effect on recidivism.
ALTERNATIVE
METHODS OF
SENTENCING
Restorative Justice
Including
Circle Sentencing
Restorative Justice
But there are other advantages…
Advantages of YJC:
1. TIME: If the POLICE refer a young person to YJC, their case is over
much more quickly than court
YJC vs Children’s Court: A comparison of time to finalisation, BOCSAR 2012
2. MONEY: YJC is more cost effective than the Children’s Court
YJC vs Children’s Court: A comparison of cost-effectiveness, BOCSAR 2012
3. VICTIM SATISFACTION: 88% of victims said they would recommend
YJC to other victims
Participant Satisfaction with YJC, BOCSAR 2012
4. PUBLIC SUPPORT: 87% of people surveyed agreed that the victim
should have this chance to talk to the offender about how the crime
affected their life
Restorative Justice Initiatives: Public Support and Opinion in NSW, BOCSAR 2012
ALTERNATIVE
METHODS OF
SENTENCING
Including
Circle Sentencing
Restorative Justice
Restorative Justice
So, now we ASSESS the ROLE of
Restorative Justice…
So, what ROLE should it have in our criminal justice system?
It COULD be useful, IF the government forks out some extra
money to make sure that the participants are put into effective
rehabilitation programs as well. We could also tackle the social
issues leading to recidivism (i.e. after the program, the guy’s still
broke and unemployed…).
The public actually likes restorative justice, even though they
don’t think it will stop a lot of offenders from reoffending.
NSW’s Chief Magistrate Graeme Henson said he’d prefer most
non-serious cases to go to a Youth Conferencing-like situation
(‘Let victim have say on penalty’, SMH, 2010)

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