This chapter presents an overview of the restorative justice movement in the twenty-first century. Restorative justice, on the other hand, offers a very different way of understanding and responding to crime. Instead of viewing the state as the primary victim of criminal acts and placing victims, offenders, and the community in passive roles, restorative justice recognizes crime as being directed against individual people. The values of restorative justice are also deeply rooted in the ancient principles of Judeo-Christian culture. A small and scattered group of community activists, justice system personnel, and a few scholars began to advocate, often independently of each other, for the implementation of restorative justice principles and a practice called victim-offender reconciliation (VORP) during the mid to late 1970s. Some proponents are hopeful that a restorative justice framework can be used to foster systemic change. Facilitation of restorative justice dialogues rests on the use of humanistic mediation.
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This chapter describes some of the recent restorative justice innovations and research that substantiates their usefulness. It explores developments in the conceptualization of restorative justice based on emergence of new practices and reasons for the effectiveness of restorative justice as a movement and restorative dialogue as application. Chaos theory offers a better way to view the coincidental timeliness of the emergence of restorative justice as a deeper way of dealing with human conflict. The chapter reviews restorative justice practices that have opened up areas for future growth. Those practices include the use of restorative practices for student misconduct in institutions of higher education, the establishment of surrogate dialogue programs in prison settings between unrelated crime victims and offenders. They also include the creation of restorative justice initiatives for domestic violence and the development of methods for engagement between crime victims and members of defense teams who represent the accused offender.
One of the most trying aspects of training professionals to work with couples using solution-focused therapy is expecting professionals to go slowly and to develop a connection with their couples before moving on. In fact, the therapist is working to uncover the positive aspects of the couple’s life, and how they were living before their problem. Lipchik calls this process listening with a constructive ear probing for evidence of strengths, resources, and past success, learning what life was like before or without the problem, what the clients want, or anything at all that can be reinforced as a positive aspect of the client’s lives going forward. Every couple comes from a past when the relationship was working much better. The therapist listens for clues about how the relationship was built to understand what worked in the past and continues to work today.
This chapter includes the guiding tenets of solution-focused therapy (SFT). Solution-focused (SF) practice differs from other therapeutic approaches in its use of solution building rather than problem solving. The solution-building process is about creating what is most desired by the couple, and not about problem solving. For a couple to be seeking therapy together, there has to have been a time in the past when the relationship was working better for both the parties. By focusing on the relationship and the skills that each partner uses to contribute to the relationship, the therapist conveys a level of hope to the couple. Solution-building conversations must be co-constructed with input from all participants. Motivation should never be in doubt, even if one member of the couple claims that he or she is only there because the other partner “made” them come to therapy.
In our success-oriented culture, optimal development of giftedness often is construed as fulfilling one’s potential for greatness. In humanistic psychology, optimal development has been conceptualized differently. Self-realization can be understood in terms of Maslow’s self-actualization, Dabrowski’s secondary integration, Jung’s individuation, or other theoretical perspectives of human development. The goals of inner development involve deepening the personality, overcoming conflicts, and actualizing one’s potential for becoming one’s best self. Many parents of the gifted complain that their children are the ones exerting the pressure. Their speed of learning and quest for knowledge often exceed their parents’ comfort level. The purpose of parent guidance is to foster “optimal development” through early intervention and prevention of social and emotional problems. Assessment can act as a prelude to family therapy. Family therapy usually involves a commitment to several successive sessions to deal with family interactions.Source:
Wrapping up a solution-building session is about trusting the clients and trusting the process. Reflection teams play an important role in solution-focused therapy at the Brief Family Therapy Center in Milwaukee, but by taking a break to develop well thought-out compliments and suggestions for a couple, individual therapists can act as their own reflection teams. Using the couple’s own words is the most important step in formulating helpful feedback. It requires that the therapist pay close attention to the language used throughout the conversation and to stick with it. Feedback should be related to the couple’s strengths and the traits that have the potential to lead them away from their problem toward the preferred future. In early family therapy literature as well as early solution-focused literature, making suggestions and invitations was referred to as assigning tasks.
This chapter lays the foundation for facilitative leadership from the unique social work perspective. Social work’s Code of Ethics and social work practice principles contribute to the value-based leadership that is part of the facilitative leader’s core. Among the important expectations of social work leadership are cultural sensitivity and competence. Five discussion areas have been selected as essential to facilitative leadership from a social work perspective: inclusion, strengths-based leadership, power and the difference between power over and power with, oppression and social justice, and the elusive but critically important concept of empowerment. There are different types of power and power relationships such as productive power and destructive power. Being conscious of privilege and oppression are precursors to understanding social injustice and working toward social justice. The social work program identifies social justice as a professional obligation of social workers to attempt to improve the quality of all people’s lives.
- Go to chapter: Restorative Justice and Community Well-Being: Visualizing Theories, Practices, and Research—Part 1
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.
This chapter discusses the concepts, underlying principles, benefits, and challenges of using “whole-family” approaches in social work. It articulates the theory and skills associated with family engagement as part of a human rights and social justice framework for social work practice in forensic settings. The chapter describes the ethical imperatives and evidence base supporting the use of family group decision making (FGDM) in regulatory settings. It engages whole families as partners in the use of FGDM in child protection and youth justice. The chapter also describes the theory, empirical support, and skills in use of FGDM, or family group conferencing (FGC). It concluded with an example of how alert forensic social workers must be to the potential for their best intentions to collide with the tenants of responsive practice and a quote from a child protection social worker who worked closely with the author on a pilot project using FGC.
- Go to chapter: Thinking Outside the Box: Tackling Health Inequities Through Forensic Social Work Practice
This chapter emphasizes the importance of improving health literacy. It describes the incorporation of cultural competence standards in forensic social work practice perspectives. The chapter also explains how to promote engagement of informal support networks in promoting health and well-being among diverse groups. Disadvantaged racial and ethnic minorities in the United States have long been overrepresented in the criminal justice systems. The elimination of health care disparities and ensuring the health care delivery system is responsive to minority groups is a social justice issue. The roles and function of forensic social workers that provide services to persons with these cultural norms can be expanded using a broader ecological framework and the applied social care model to develop intervention strategies and care plans with incarceration persons. Identifying and incorporating culturally appropriate practice approaches are challenging, yet necessary undertakings for forensic social workers.