Family Group Conferences and Facilitator Type. Does it Really Matter?

Natalie Kroovand Hipple, Indiana University and Hudson Institute

Following the leads of New Zealand and Australia, family group conferences have begun to establish themselves as a restorative justice option to traditional court here in the United States. However, who should facilitate these conferences still remains under debate. Using conference observations and recidivism checks from the Indianapolis Restorative Justice Experiment, this paper will compare conferences facilitated by police officers to those facilitated by civilians. Specifically, this paper will examine if facilitator type affects the overall conference process and resulting reparation agreements, and recidivism and survival of youths who participated in family group conferences.

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Updated 05/20/2006