Sunday, January 03, 2021

Only one in five victims attends a FGC

From Oranga Tamariki

Youth justice family group conferences (FGCs) give the child or young person – with their whānau, victims and professionals – a chance to help find solutions when they have offended.

But victim participation rate in Family Group Conferences - the holy grail of youth justice - is very low. Hence, I imagine, the reason OT commissioned Behavioural Insights to study why.

Only about one in five victims physically attends.

The reasons given by interviewed non-attendees are not being able to take time from work and non-compenastion for travel,childcare costs incurred etc. Fear of retribution rates a mention. Also victims were unhappy with reparations or lack of for stolen, damaged or destroyed property. This makes perfect sense.

Another obstruction uncovered was that non-Maori co-ordinators had trouble "understanding te ao Maori, engaging effectively and providing culturally appropriate support to young people, whanau and victims." The implication seems to be a failure on the part of non-Maori (also referred to in the presentation as 'white') a pattern of blame becoming increasingly familiar.

Moving along, the  immediate concern must be the diminished usefulness of FGCs with no participating victim, and the message that non-participation sends to the offender.

According to Andrew Becroft (ex principal Youth Court Judge, now Children's Commissioner):

Most importantly, the FGC provides the opportunity for a face to face encounter with a
victim, which can be very emotional and raw. This is the restorative power of the FGC.

But in eighty percent of cases that potential cannot be realised.


Kiwi Dave said...

But in eighty percent of cases that potential cannot be realised.

When you’re a convinced ideologue, an eighty percent failure rate is evidence that reality has been distorted by evil people and a sign to flog the dead horse harder.

Jim Rose said...

My advice on restorative justice, which are different from family group conferences, is to agree to go but cancel at the last minute but asked for a reschedule. At the rescheduled restorative justice session, again cancel at the last minute and keep this up until they give up asking you to come

Lindsay Mitchell said...

Jim's utu.

Mark Wahlberg said...

Back in the distant past I had an issue with a bloke over the cost of repairs to damage he caused to my car in a minor accident. While my insurance covered the majority of the repair I got stuck with a $500 excess. (He had no insurance)

I took the matter to the small claims tribunal and the degenerate gentleman did exactly what "Jim Rose' has suggested, namely canceling at the last minute and rescheduling. He did it twice over 3 months.

I met him in the street one day and he had the audacity to smile at me. I punched him over and told him the debt was settled.

Oi said...

I pose a query. For the sake of argument, lets liken a FGC to a statute. Is a law that only 20% of the population adhere to good law? Or should it be scrapped or modified until 80% of the population comply?
Now, if only 20% of the population consider a FGC is worthwhile, should the same parameters apply? Should we scrap or modify it?

As far as Mr Becroft and his ruminations are concerned, I come from a quarter century of law enforcement, so perhaps I might be considered biased, although I prefer to think I live in the world as it is, a state of existence that in my opinion Mr Becroft is divorced from.
This man who can abuse and pillory Police officers for pursuing a stolen vehicle driven by young criminals - keep in mind that the Police patrol is behind that vehicle, almost always at o-darkthirty in the early hours of the morning, cannot see even the occupants, have no idea as to whether or not those occupants have committed murder or some other grievous offence - to me he is a total cretin or and is someone whose pontifications I totally repudiate.

The Slippery Slope said...

I attended a restorative justice session with my eldest son who had been the victim of a aggravated robbery.

In attendance were one of the youth and their family. One of the family members made comments about my son not standing up for himself (against two older youths, one with a knife). My son was 13 when this occurred.

The officials present didn't pick up on this until I explained we were here for their son's violence and it is the violence that caused this in the first place.

Apparently I was 'aggressive'.

This was about 15 years ago.

I wouldn't bother again.