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Northern Ireland Youth Conferencing Service   Martina Jordan

Northern Ireland Youth Conferencing Service Martina Jordan




Martina Jordan from the Northern Ireland Youth Conferencing Service presents on the new restorative justice system in Northern Ireland and the important results this approach is achieving.

Martina was unable to deliver this presentation at the RJC Annual Practitioners' Day 2010 due to volcano!



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    Northern Ireland Youth Conferencing Service   Martina Jordan Northern Ireland Youth Conferencing Service Martina Jordan Presentation Transcript

    • Martina Jordan
      Youth Conference Service
    • The Youth Conference Service
      Introduced in November 2003 following review and reform of the criminal justice system;
      Advisors to government sought most effective manner in which to deal with youth crime;
      New Zealand model of Family Group Conferencing deemed most appropriate;
      Work with 10 – 18 year olds;
      Deal with minor up to serious offences including domestic violence and sexual offences;
      Fully integrated into the Criminal Justice System
    • Traditional justice systems
      What law was broken?
      Focus on guilt
      Court/prosecution decides on punishment
      Offender is central
      Offender versus state
      Limited family & community involvement
      Rare victim involvement
    • Restorative justice
      Who has been hurt?
      Crime violates people and relationships
      Identifies need and obligation
      Victim is central
      Encourages dialogue
      Greater family inclusion
      Community involvement
    • The balanced approach
      Youth Conference Service
      Young person
      A Youth Conference gives young offenders
      the opportunity to understand and makeamends
      to their victims for the effects of their offences
      and to take steps to stop offending.
      It involves families,victims,community and the young person in making a decision on what can be done to put right the harm caused.
      Public Prosecution Service
      • Admission of guilt
      • Consent to meeting the victim
      • Expectation that amends will be made
      To date 7,500 referrals to the Youth Conference Service
      On completion of a Conference a young person will be subject to
      a Youth Conference Plan (PPS) or a Youth Conference Order (Court).
    • Following referral....
      Youth Conference Co-ordinator (YCC) meets young person and their family
      YCC meets victim/s
      Preparation of both parties for conference
      YCC discusses case with police officer and community representative
      Conference takes place
      Young person completes Youth Conference Plan (PPS) or Youth Conference Order (Court)
    • Preparation Preparation Preparation!!!!!
      Young person takes responsibility and shows some sense of victim awareness;
      Victim not pressurised to participate, has to feel that there are benefits for them
      Community will assist the young person to become reintegrated
      Family will support their young person
      Prepare for the wide spectrum of feelings/emotions...
      Co-ordinator prepared for what might arise in the meeting...
    • Conference Process:Legislative Powers
      • The young person may be required to:
      • Apologise
      • Make reparation to the victim, any person affected, or to the community
      • Make a payment to the victim not exceeding cost of replacing or repairing any damage
      • Submit to the supervision of an adult
      • Perform unpaid work or service in or for the community
      • Participate in activities to address her/his offending
      • Submit to restrictions on conduct or whereabouts
      • Submit to treatment for a mental condition or for alcohol/drugs dependency
    • Programmes for Young People
      Victim awareness
      Intergenerational placements (Age Concern)
      Anti racist programme (NI council for Ethnic Minorities)
      Public services victim programme (Translink, Fire Service)
      Individual victim awareness programme (Victim Support)
      Preventing Offending
      Business crime prevention (Business in the Community)
      Substance misuse/anger management
      Offending behaviour (IMPACT –Car Crime)
      Mentoring programme (Opportunity Youth)
      An example of a typical offender plan is?
    • Post-Conference Phase
      The co-ordinator encourages, motivates and enables the young person to keep to their Conference Plan.
      Incidents of non-compliance are dealt with by looking at the blocks preventing the plan being completed and if needed engaging the family in a Family Group conference to resolve the difficulties.
      Ultimately a young person may be returned to Court or referred back to the PPS if they continue to fail to comply with the plan
    • Findings from Practice
      74% face to face participation by victims
      • 78% of plans are reparative
      • 84% of young people made an apology
      • Young people will complete their Orders in 67 working days on average
      • Voluntary process – 94% of young people were satisfied with the process (latest satisfaction survey)
      • 93% of victims satisfied with the outcome (latest satisfaction survey)
      • Reconviction rates – 38.4% Court & PPS combined
      • Reconviction rates for next most effective community disposal – 52%
      • Reconviction rates for youth custodial sentence – 75%
      • Cost effective disposal
    • Hope you’re still interested!!
      Any questions?
    • Youth Conference Service
      41- 43 Waring Street
      BT1 2DY
      Telephone: 028 90316418
      Fax: 028 90316401
      Email: info@ycsni.gov.uk
      Web: www.youthconferenceserviceni.gov.uk