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ASSESS the role of alternative methods of sentencing ALTERNATIVE METHODS OF SENTENCING Including Circle Sentencing Restorative Justice ALTERNATIVE METHODS.

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Presentation on theme: "ASSESS the role of alternative methods of sentencing ALTERNATIVE METHODS OF SENTENCING Including Circle Sentencing Restorative Justice ALTERNATIVE METHODS."— Presentation transcript:

1 ASSESS the role of alternative methods of sentencing ALTERNATIVE METHODS OF SENTENCING Including Circle Sentencing Restorative Justice ALTERNATIVE METHODS OF SENTENCING Including Circle Sentencing Restorative Justice

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3 In Nowra, Mounty County, etc Not an “easy option” (punishments are often harsher)

4 ALTERNATIVE METHODS OF SENTENCING Including Circle Sentencing Restorative Justice Circle Sentencing 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…………. 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…

5 ALTERNATIVE METHODS OF SENTENCING Including Circle Sentencing Restorative Justice “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) 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? Circle Sentencing

6 ALTERNATIVE METHODS OF 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… Circle Sentencing

7 ALTERNATIVE METHODS OF SENTENCING Including Circle Sentencing 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…

8 ALTERNATIVE METHODS OF SENTENCING 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. Restorative Justice

9 ALTERNATIVE METHODS OF SENTENCING Including Circle Sentencing Restorative Justice Does it reduce recidivism? Nope. For 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 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. Restorative Justice

10 ALTERNATIVE METHODS OF SENTENCING Including Circle Sentencing Restorative Justice But there are other advantages… 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 MONEY: YJC is more cost effective than the Children’s Court YJC vs Children’s Court: A comparison of cost-effectiveness, BOCSAR VICTIM SATISFACTION: 88% of victims said they would recommend YJC to other victims Participant Satisfaction with YJC, BOCSAR 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 Advantages of YJC: Restorative Justice

11 ALTERNATIVE METHODS OF SENTENCING Including Circle Sentencing 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) Restorative Justice


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