Thomas_whole_thesis.pdf (3.14 MB)
Working restoratively : a study of youth justice professionals in Tasmania
thesisposted on 2023-05-27, 10:08 authored by Thomas, NA
The Youth Justice Act 1997 in Tasmania introduced the principles and practice of Restorative Justice with the aim of reducing youth crime. Since this time, Restorative Justice has influenced early intervention, resulting in a decrease in youth crime and detention rates. But, as recognised internationally and by previous research in Tasmania, this apparent success may conceal problems or limitations in how conferences are conducted. To explore these issues, this study interviewed 21 practitioners with occupational knowledge of how young offenders are managed through the diversionary system in Southern Tasmania. These interviewees complain that conferences individualise the problem of offending rather than addressing structural causes of crime such as poverty. The thesis provides a detailed account of their work and professional challenges. It also advances arguments for the value of qualitative research on the criminal justice process; and makes policy recommendations to establish multi-disciplinary teams and to increase the diversity of referral options.
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