Restorative Justice and Sexual Assault: An Archival Study of Court and Conference Cases

Posted: 29 Feb 2008

See all articles by Kathleen Daly

Kathleen Daly

Griffith University - School of Criminology and Criminal Justice

Date Written: March 2006

Abstract

As restorative justice has grown in popularity worldwide, mainly in response to youth crime, controversy surrounds its use for sexual, partner and family violence cases. With some exceptions, all jurisdictions have put these offences beyond the reach of restorative justice for both youth and adult offenders and, thus, empirical evidence is lacking. This paper presents findings from an archival study of nearly 400 cases of youth sexual assault, which were finalized in court and by conference or formal caution over a six-and-a-half-year period in South Australia, to address these questions: (1) What differentiates a court from a conference case? (2) What happens once a case goes to court, e.g. what share of cases is dismissed and how do penalties vary for court and conference cases? (3) From a victim's point of view, what appears to be the better option-having one's case go to court or conference? Contrary to the concerns raised by critics of conferencing, from a victim's advocacy perspective, the conference process may be less victimizing than the court process and its penalty regime may produce more effective outcomes.

Suggested Citation

Daly, Kathleen, Restorative Justice and Sexual Assault: An Archival Study of Court and Conference Cases (March 2006). The British Journal of Criminology, Vol. 46, Issue 2, pp. 334-356, 2006, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=905695 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjc/azi071

Kathleen Daly (Contact Author)

Griffith University - School of Criminology and Criminal Justice ( email )

170 Kessels Road
Nathan, QLD 4111 QLD 4111
Australia

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