The Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, and the Crime Prevention Division of the NSW Department of Attorney General and Justice, inviteï¿½members to attend a seminar to discuss future directions for juvenile justice in NSW. The seminar will be held on Thursday, 10 May 2012 between 9.30 - 10.30am in the Metcalfe Auditorium, State Library of NSW, Sydney (entry off Macquarie St). The presenter will beï¿½Dr Don Weatherburn, with Jenny Bargen as discussant.
The Young Offenders Act 1997 established a graded system of court diversion options consisting of warnings, cautions and youth justice conferences. The objects of the Act (as set out in Section 3) are to:
(a) provide an alternative process to court proceedings for dealing with children who commit certain offences through the use of youth justice conferences, cautions and warnings,
(b) provide an efficient and direct response to the commission by children of certain offences, and
(c) establish and use youth justice conferences to deal with alleged offenders in a way that
(i) enables a community based negotiated response to offences involving all the affected parties,
(ii) emphasizes restitution by the offender and the acceptance of responsibility by the offender for his or her behaviour,
(iii) meets the needs of victims and offenders, and
(iv) addresses the over representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in the criminal justice system through the use of youth justice conferences, cautions and warnings.
Restitution is achieved in the context of YJCs through agreement on an outcome plan. The outcome plan is a document agreed by victim and offender specifying (inter alia) what the offender will do by way of recompense for the offence. While it was never stipulated in the Act that conferencing would reduce the likelihood of further offending, many have argued that it achieves this goal as well. In this presentation, Don Weatherburn will give an overview of a recent program of research bearing on the extent to which the YOA is meeting its various aims. Jenny Bargen will discuss the findings and facilitate questions and discussion from audience members about the implication of these findings for the future direction of juvenile justice in NSW.
Don Weatherburn (Ph.D., PSM, FASSA) received his Ph.D from Sydney University in 1979. He was awarded a Public Service Medal in 1998, appointed an Adjunct Professor in the School of Social Sciences and International studies at the University of New South Wales in 2005 and made a fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia in 2006. He is the author of two books and more than 170 articles, book chapters and reports on crime and criminal justice.
Jenny Bargen (LLB, BSc, Dip Ed) was the Director of Youth Justice Conferencing between 1997 and 2007 in the (then) NSW Department of Juvenile Justice. Prior to that time she worked as a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Law at the University of New South Wales.ï¿½ During her eight years as an academic she taught Criminal Law, Juvenile Justice, Children and the Law and Legal Systems/Torts and published articles on issues in juvenile justice, child welfare, sexual assault, and partial defences to murder. She was also an active founding member of the Youth Justice Coalition (NSW) and in that capacity participated in negotiations with government and opposition parties in the lead up to the passage through Parliament of the Young Offenders Act in June 1997. She also contributed to the research and writing of the influential 1990 report, Kids in Justice: a blueprint for the â90âs (Law Foundation and Youth Justice Coalition, Sydney) and the 1994 report, Nobody Listens: The experiences of contact between young people and police (Youth Justice Coalition and Youth Action and Policy Association, Sydney). Between 1995 and 1997 Jenny was an active member of the (then) NSW Juvenile Justice Advisory Council. She was the founding chair of the Juvenile Crime Prevention Advisory Committee. She is currently a member of the Juvenile Justice Committee of the Law Society of NSW.ï¿½ Jenny has been a member of the Board of the Inner City Legal Centre and a member of the Management Committee and Board of the National Childrenâs and Youth Law Centre and since 2008 has again been an active member of the NSW Youth Justice Coalition. Since leaving the Department of Juvenile Justice Jenny has produced a review of the Childrenâs Legal Service for Legal Aid NSW and undertaken evaluations of a number of crime prevention projects. She currently works as a casual lecturer in the Masters Program at the Law Faculty at the University of Sydney, is an Adjunct Lecturer with the Sydney Law School Institute of Criminology, and is working as a research associate at UNSW Law School with a large ARC funded three year research project on restorative justice for victims and serious adult offenders.
For directions to the State Library, please see the following website: http://www.sl.nsw.gov.au/using/location/index.html?HomeLink=Services
RSVPs are essential for catering purposes. Please email to firstname.lastname@example.org or ring 02 9231 9190.
29 March 2012