This chapter introduces the theoretical basis for restorative justice (RJ). It assesses the empirical evidence for RJ programs, and explores the challenges and opportunities associated with applying core competencies. The chapter describes competencies of specific interest which include: engaging diversity and difference in practice, and engaging with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. It also discusses skills essential to the success of RJ which include supporting processes that value the experiences of people associated with a crime or harm. The chapter suggests the importance of practical and context-specific knowledge and skills relevant when individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities find themselves in conflict and require support. Programs that rely upon restorative principles have been used at a variety of points in the criminal justice process. The chapter discusses a practice, a family group conference, which was first developed in New Zealand involving social workers considerably.
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- Go to chapter: Restorative Justice and Community Well-Being: Visualizing Theories, Practices, and Research—Part 1
Forensic Social Work, 2nd Edition:Psychosocial and Legal Issues Across Diverse Populations and Settings
The growing public awareness of bias and discrimination and the disproportionate involvement of minority populations, especially based on race, class, and gender, have affected the social work profession with a call to fulfill its long-forgotten mission to respond and advocate for justice reform and health and public safety. Forensic social workers practice far and wide where issues of justice and fairness are found. This book emphasizes on the diversity of populations and settings, social workers would best serve their clients adding a forensic or legal lens to their practice. It targets the important and emerging practice specialization of forensic social work, a practice specialization that speaks to the heart, head, and hands (i.e., knowledge, values, and skills) of social work using a human rights and social justice approach integrated with a forensic lens. The book defines forensic social work to include not only a narrow group of people who are victims or convicted of crimes and subsequently involved in the juvenile justice and criminal justice settings, but broadly all the individuals and families involved with family and social services, education, child welfare, mental health, and behavioral health or other programs, in which they are affected by human rights and social justice issues, or federal and state laws and policies. Practitioners who read this book will learn and apply a human rights legal framework and social justice and empowerment theories to guide multilevel prevention, psychosocial assessments, and interventions with historically underserved individuals, families, and communities, especially using the life course systems power analysis strategy and family televisiting. The book fills a critical gap in the knowledge, values, and skills for human rights and social justice–focused social work education and training.