Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 10 Hansard (17 October) . . Page.. 3154..
MR CORBELL (continuing):
as a result of their participation in the conferences and nearly all victims reported that they were able to say what they had wanted to say in their conferences. Over 93 per cent of victims said that they would participate in another restorative justice conference if the opportunity arose, and 94 per cent would recommend it to other victims-strong results indeed.
Restorative justice also looks after the needs and best interests of young people responsible for offences. They, too, are reporting high levels of satisfaction with the process. Nearly all young people, 98 per cent, said that they were treated with respect during their conference and that the terms of their restorative justice agreement were fair. Over 98 per cent said they will participate in restorative justice again and 97 per cent would recommend it to others.
I am particularly pleased to report that 98 per cent of young people have complied with their outcome agreements. These agreements are entered into voluntarily and young people are demonstrating their sincerity by doing what they said they would do to make up for the harm that they have done. This high compliance rate also indicates that the agreements are fair and achievable for young people.
I would like to point out that, contrary to many people's perceptions, victims have not been looking for retribution at conferences. They are demonstrating that the best interests of young people are a high priority for them and they are agreeing to tasks in agreements that are aimed at restoring the young people as valuable members of our community. As a result of their conferences, young people have completed 938 hours of tasks that were aimed at addressing their offending behaviour or were aimed at reintegrating them into the community. These tasks include residential drug rehabilitation programs, alcohol and drug counselling, anger management courses, vocational programs, and sport and recreation programs. Victims have even offered work experience and, indeed, employment to young people as a result of meeting them in a restorative justice conference.
Given that, I think it is fair to say that the benefits to our community that restorative justice offers are difficult to measure but should not and cannot be underestimated. It provides an opportunity for people to have a voice in our justice system and, because of that, it assists them to overcome the harm that has been suffered as a result of crime. Restorative justice has proved to be a worthy addition to our justice system, and the Stanhope government is proud of the achievements that are detailed in this report. I commend the report to members. I move:
That the Assembly takes note of the paper.
Debate (on motion by Mr Stefaniak ) adjourned to the next sitting.
Territory plan-variation No 229
Paper and statement by minister
MR CORBELL (Molonglo-Attorney-General, Minister for Police and Emergency Services and Minister for Planning): For the information of members, I present the following paper: