Restorative Justice

Katherine van Wormer

in Social Work

ISBN: 9780195389678
Published online December 2009 | | DOI:
Restorative Justice

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“Restorative justice,” as defined in the Social Work Dictionary is “a non-adversarial approach usually monitored by a trained professional who seeks to offer justice to the individual victim, the offender, and the community, all of whom have been harmed by a crime or other form of wrongdoing” (Washington, DC: National Association of Social Workers, 2014. p. 367). This emerging model for resolving conflict and righting a wrong focuses on repairing the harm done by an offense by involving the victim, the offender, and the community. This entry identifies resources on restorative justice theories and strategies with relevance to social workers, mental health professionals, and school and correctional counselors. At the micro level, restorative justice is played out as conferencing between victims and offenders, for example, by way of family group conferences and healing circles. At the macro or societal level, restorative justice takes the form of reparations or truth commissions to compensate for the harm that has been done. The magnitude of the situations covered ranges from interpersonal violence to school bullying to mass kidnappings to full-scale terrorism and warfare. Since in the United States restorative justice has only recently been given formal recognition by the profession of social work, included for the first time the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Encyclopedia of Social Work in 2008, books and articles that specifically relate restorative justice to social work are scarce, and most are of recent vintage. Accordingly many of the listings in this entry are drawn from criminal justice, legal, and international sources, especially from Canada, New Zealand, and Australia.

Article.  7911 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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