Northern Ireland Youth Conferencing Service Martina Jordan


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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

  1. 1. Martina Jordan<br />Youth Conference Service<br />
  2. 2. The Youth Conference Service<br />Introduced in November 2003 following review and reform of the criminal justice system;<br />Advisors to government sought most effective manner in which to deal with youth crime;<br />New Zealand model of Family Group Conferencing deemed most appropriate;<br />Work with 10 – 18 year olds;<br />Deal with minor up to serious offences including domestic violence and sexual offences;<br />Fully integrated into the Criminal Justice System<br />
  3. 3. Traditional justice systems<br />What law was broken?<br />Focus on guilt<br />Court/prosecution decides on punishment<br />Offender is central<br />Offender versus state<br />Limited family & community involvement<br />Rare victim involvement<br />
  4. 4. Restorative justice<br />Who has been hurt?<br />Crime violates people and relationships<br />Identifies need and obligation<br />Victim is central<br />Encourages dialogue<br />Greater family inclusion<br />Community involvement<br />
  5. 5. The balanced approach<br />Community<br />Victim<br />Youth Conference Service<br />Young person<br />A Youth Conference gives young offenders <br />the opportunity to understand and makeamends<br />to their victims for the effects of their offences<br />and to take steps to stop offending.<br />It involves families,victims,community and the young person in making a decision on what can be done to put right the harm caused.<br />
  6. 6. LEGISLATION JUSTICE{NI}ACT 2002<br />COURT<br />Public Prosecution Service<br /><ul><li>Admission of guilt
  7. 7. Consent to meeting the victim
  8. 8. Expectation that amends will be made</li></ul> To date 7,500 referrals to the Youth Conference Service<br /> On completion of a Conference a young person will be subject to<br /> a Youth Conference Plan (PPS) or a Youth Conference Order (Court). <br />
  9. 9. Following referral....<br />Youth Conference Co-ordinator (YCC) meets young person and their family<br />YCC meets victim/s<br />Preparation of both parties for conference<br />YCC discusses case with police officer and community representative<br />Conference takes place<br />Young person completes Youth Conference Plan (PPS) or Youth Conference Order (Court)<br />
  10. 10. Preparation Preparation Preparation!!!!!<br />Young person takes responsibility and shows some sense of victim awareness;<br />Victim not pressurised to participate, has to feel that there are benefits for them<br />Community will assist the young person to become reintegrated<br />Family will support their young person<br />Prepare for the wide spectrum of feelings/emotions...<br />Co-ordinator prepared for what might arise in the meeting...<br />
  11. 11. Conference Process:Legislative Powers<br /><ul><li>The young person may be required to:
  12. 12. Apologise
  13. 13. Make reparation to the victim, any person affected, or to the community
  14. 14. Make a payment to the victim not exceeding cost of replacing or repairing any damage
  15. 15. Submit to the supervision of an adult
  16. 16. Perform unpaid work or service in or for the community
  17. 17. Participate in activities to address her/his offending
  18. 18. Submit to restrictions on conduct or whereabouts
  19. 19. Submit to treatment for a mental condition or for alcohol/drugs dependency</li></li></ul><li>Programmes for Young People<br />Victim awareness <br />Intergenerational placements (Age Concern)<br />Anti racist programme (NI council for Ethnic Minorities)<br />Public services victim programme (Translink, Fire Service)<br />Individual victim awareness programme (Victim Support)<br />Preventing Offending<br />Business crime prevention (Business in the Community)<br />Substance misuse/anger management<br />Offending behaviour (IMPACT –Car Crime)<br />Education/employment<br />Mentoring programme (Opportunity Youth)<br />An example of a typical offender plan is?<br />
  20. 20. Post-Conference Phase <br />The co-ordinator encourages, motivates and enables the young person to keep to their Conference Plan.<br />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.<br />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 <br />
  21. 21. Findings from Practice<br />74% face to face participation by victims<br /><ul><li>78% of plans are reparative
  22. 22. 84% of young people made an apology
  23. 23. Young people will complete their Orders in 67 working days on average
  24. 24. Voluntary process – 94% of young people were satisfied with the process (latest satisfaction survey)
  25. 25. 93% of victims satisfied with the outcome (latest satisfaction survey)
  26. 26. Reconviction rates – 38.4% Court & PPS combined
  27. 27. Reconviction rates for next most effective community disposal – 52%
  28. 28. Reconviction rates for youth custodial sentence – 75%
  29. 29. Cost effective disposal</li></li></ul><li>Hope you’re still interested!!<br />Any questions?<br />
  30. 30. Youth Conference Service<br />41- 43 Waring Street<br />Belfast<br />BT1 2DY<br />Telephone: 028 90316418<br />Fax: 028 90316401<br />Email:<br />Web: <br />