Restorative Justice System

Superior Essays
Thesis There are alternatives to achieve justice rather than by retributive means, the island nation of New Zealand has been practicing restorative justice for nearly thirty years. This European dominated culture believes in giving first time offenders a second chance; in many cases, the future of youth offenders is taken into consideration.
Introduction
This paper is an analysis of the mission goals of the restorative justice system practiced in New Zealand. Furthermore, this paper will discuss the restorative process utilized within the New Zealand, criminal justice system. This paper will conclude with what demographic group benefits the most due to the restorative practices of this particular nation.
Restorative Justice
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Healing circles, victim-offender mediation, and group conferences with participation by the family have not only been successful amongst criminal law breakers, but various educational institutions are utilizing them as well. "The main goal of a conference is to formulate a plan about how best to deal with the offending. The family group conference is a meeting between those entitled to attend, in a relatively informal setting. When all are present, the meeting may open with a prayer or a blessing, depending on the customs of those involved" (Morris & Maxwell, 1998, p. 3). New Zealand criminal justice professionals practice restorative justice at both the youth and adult levels of criminal court. Much more success has been achieved at the youth level due to youth being more willing to participate in events such as victim-offender mediation. Additionally, youth first-time offenders are given a choice of partaking in restorative practices or they can choose to be processed through traditional means, but choosing the latter the risk of ending up in a detention facility is elevated. The vast varieties of established restorative practices implemented by New Zealand legislation has directly contributed to the reduction of crime within this island nation. According to the webpage New Zealand Police, from the …show more content…
Since lawmakers turned to the philosophy of criminal justice reform, New Zealand youth have greatly benefited from the paradigm shift of implementation of restorative practices. Human beings are not perfect, and making mistakes knows no boundaries when it pertains to age. Those individuals who have placed themselves in compromising legal situations are well served by the New Zealand justice system as it pertains to youth. For many first time offenders, the solid criminal justice foundation is centralized around an approach specifically tailored for youths. "The Children, Young Persons, and Their Families Act 1989 put in place new objects, principles, and procedures for youth justice in New Zealand. The 1989 legislation was designed to develop community alternatives to institutions, to respond more effectively to the needs of victims, to provide better support for families and their children, and to reduce the number of minor offenders appearing before the court" (Maxwell & Morris, 2006, p. 241). Youth justice in New Zealand is a community based practice, and with community involvement the past state of the community can be restored. Victims receive the aid and treatment necessary to recover from wrongdoing against them, and youth perpetrators are spared the label of

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