10 Jan 2011

'Loss of faith' in family group conferences

8:47 pm on 10 January 2011

Many victims of crime have lost faith in family group conferences, according to the Sensible Sentencing Trust.

The Law Commission's report on whether existing arrangements to compensate victims of crime are adequate was tabled in Parliament just before Christmas.

The Sensible Sentencing Trust says victims and their families appreciate their greater recognition as key participants in the criminal justice process.

But the trust's national spokesperson, Garth McVicar, says many of them no longer trust the family group conference process, because the offender involved has often been through the identical process as many as a dozen times.

Mr McVicar says the families want criminals treated more seriously at the early stages of their offending.