Volume 18, Issue 1/2, 2009
Abbey J. Porter
Restorative Conferencing in Thailand
A Resounding Success with Juvenile Crime
Restorative practices is providing Thailand with a culturally relevant and highly effective means of dealing with criminal offenders, especially juveniles. Spearheaded by Wanchai Roujanavong, director general of the Department of Juvenile Observation and Protection of Thailand’s Ministry of Justice, the Thais have developed a restorative conferencing model. Called family and community
group conferencing (FCGC), the approach is based on the International Institute for Restorative Practices restorative conferencing model, combined with elements of the New Zealand family group conferencing (FGC) model. The resultant approach suits Thailand’s traditional community-inclusive culture. Since 2003, Thailand’s 52 juvenile protection centers have conducted more than 19,000 conferences, usually in place of court prosecution. Recidivism rates among offenders participating in these conferences are markedly lower than those of juvenile offenders prosecuted in court.