In search of culturally appropriate options: the family group conference method in New Zealand and Washington, D.C.: a limited comparison
McKinney, Brenda A.
Over the last 25 years, New Zealand's juvenile justice system and implementation of the Family Group Conference (FGC) method have been lauded as an illustration of success and an exemplary model of progress for other nations in ensuring that youth have the chance they deserve. This thesis focuses on promoting culturally appropriate options for youth who commit harm and compares New Zealand to the United States capitol-city of Washington, D.C. (DC). In doing so, it poses the research question of whether the FGC method of resolving youth offending, as is currently used in New Zealand, is a more culturally appropriate method than the current methods used in DC. In order to understand how the FGC method works and might be effective in reducing weak or inappropriate aspects of the juvenile justice system, this thesis uses a historical perspective to walk through the trajectory of the FGC and introduce weaknesses and strengths in both jurisdictions. This thesis then draws comparisons between the two jurisdictions, ultimately highlighting aspects such as family inclusion and the comparative access to FGC options to conclude that New Zealand’s method is superior. This thesis concludes by suggesting that the salient concepts from the New Zealand FGC be modified to fit other jurisdictions with a particular focus on reducing racial disparities everywhere and extending some of the cultural concepts that have already begun to permeate justice systems worldwide.
Advisor: Henaghan, R. Mark
Degree Name: Master of Laws
Degree Discipline: Law
Publisher: University of Otago
Keywords: Restorative Justice; Juvenile Justice; Youth; Children; Restorative; Justice; FGC; Family Group Conference; United States
Research Type: Thesis