Research Repository

Mainstreaming Restorative Justice for Young Offenders through Youth Conferencing: The Experience of Northern Ireland

O'Mahony, D and Campbell, C (2006) 'Mainstreaming Restorative Justice for Young Offenders through Youth Conferencing: The Experience of Northern Ireland.' In: Junger-Tas, J and Decker, S, (eds.) International Handbook of Juvenile Justice. Springer, 93 - 116. ISBN 978-1-4020-4400-7

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Though Northern Ireland is a relatively small jurisdiction within Ireland and the United Kingdom with a population of just over 1.7 million (of which about 183,000 are 10?16 years of age?the current age of criminal responsibility for children), it has its own unique system of youth justice which very recently has undergone significant transformation. A restorative justice approach to deal with young offenders and victims has been mainstreamed through a process called ?youth conferencing.? This new approach offers valuable insights in terms of youth justice policy and practice to the international forum and in this chapter we explore some of its potentials and limitations. The chapter firstly looks at crime and how the criminal justice system in Northern Ireland deals with young people who have offended. It examines what is known about youth offending in general and looks specifically at a number of innovative approaches to criminal justice practice. The police response to youth offending is examined and their specialist teams of officers who deal with young offenders. The courts and sentencing are then looked at, with attention being placed on the new arrangements for holding children in custody. The range of measures introduced following the Criminal Justice Review are then examined, and specifically the youth conferencing arrangements, which adopt a restorative justice model to deal with young offenders. This chapter draws to a close with a critical overview of the major changes in our system of youth justice and the possible lessons that can be learnt from an international perspective. However, before exploring how this whole new system of youth justice operates it is important to understand the broader criminal justice system in context and a little about crime levels and how young people have been dealt with through the criminal justice system.

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: K Law > K Law (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities > Law, School of
Depositing User: Jake Newell
Date Deposited: 24 Jul 2017 09:12
Last Modified: 18 Oct 2017 16:16

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