The Family Conference Team of the Youth Court of South Australia has for the second time won the award for excellence in judicial administration.
Successful outcomes include:
(i)elderly victims becoming surrogate grandparents after a troubled pregnant teenager stole their car. After the girl admitted her guilt, the couple
requested the punishment of ‘keeping her victims up-to-date with the progress of her pregnancy’.
(ii)a youth who trespassed in a garden centre and assaulted the manager was hired by the centre after performing community service and undergoing
anger management and counselling.
The S.A. program takes the young offenders out of the ‘blame and shame’ system of the courts and brings the offenders and their parents face-to-face
with their victims. This powerful process has resulted in 90% of youths in the program complying with outcomes set by the Conference. During the
program’s 10 year history, $500,000 in compensation has been paid by offenders to the victims. In 2003 there were over 1503 referrals to the Family
Conference Team involving just over 1700 youths, making it one of the largest conferencing jurisdictions in the world.