Restorative justice results in less crime

There is evidence to show that restorative justice conferences are helping to bring down crime rates.

Figures from the Ministry of Justice show recidivism rates for those who participate in the voluntary conferences, are 12 percent lower compared to offenders who don't participate.

The meetings take place before sentencing between an offender and a victim, with a trained facilitator also present.

Justice Minister Judith Collins says it's estimated from the 1569 meetings held in 2011 and 2012, just over 1000 fewer offences have occurred as a result.

She says it's clear restorative justice conferences are a useful tool in keeping offenders from going on to commit other crimes.

Ms Collins says the meetings can happen at district courts throughout the country and the plan is to increase them over the next two years.

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