WEEK+14+-+Restorative+Justice (1)

WEEK+14+-+Restorative+Justice (1) - Restorative Justice: A...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–3. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Restorative Justice: A Model of Healing Philosophy Consistent With Social Work Values Instead of retribution, restorative justice emphasizes truth, accountability and healing. By Sheryl Fred, News Staff Illustration: John Michael Yanson Paula Kurland has said that she died on Sept. 13, 1986, the day her 21-year-old daughter Mitzi was brutally stabbed to death in Austin, Texas. It wasn't until she met her daughter's killer two weeks before his execution in 1998 that she admitted to feeling alive again. Although she could never forgive Jonathan Nobles' actions, after a five-hour discussion with him, Kurland was surprised to feel not only relief, but also some level of compassion for the man about to face lethal injection. "I walked out of death row a new person," she told PBS in a 2003 report on the death penalty. This widely publicized case is one of the more striking examples of the power of restorative justice — a relatively nascent movement that turns the traditional criminal justice model on its head. Instead of focusing solely on retribution, restorative justice emphasizes truth, accountability and, most important, healing for the victim, offender and community. Restorative justice, the roots of which lie largely in indigenous traditions, comes in many forms. Family group conferencing, derived from the Maori people of New Zealand, is an alternate form of sentencing that involves the victim, offender and the family and friends of both in resolving a criminal or delinquent incident. Peacemaking circles, based on Native American talking circles, bring people together to speak as equals about troubling issues in their communities. What Kurland and Nobles engaged in is called victim-offender mediation (VOM), also referred to as victim-offender dialogue, reconciliation or conferencing. Generally used post-adjudication
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
in cases of everything from petty crime to rape and murder, VOM involves counseling victims and offenders and then bringing them together for a frank discussion. Usually run by nonprofit groups, criminal justice systems and faith-based organizations, it is the most common and most studied form of restorative justice in the country today. With a focus on social justice, empowerment and holistic practice, it is no great surprise that social workers were among the first to engage in restorative justice. In the late 1970s, NASW member Mark Umbreit, now the director of the Center for Restorative Justice and Peacemaking at the University of Minnesota School of Social Work, helped launch the country's first victim- offender reconciliation program in Elkhart, Ind. (The first-ever of these programs was launched in Ontario in 1974.) Since then, Umbreit and a handful of other social workers across the country
Background image of page 2
Image of page 3
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 11/23/2010 for the course SWK S141 taught by Professor Danielnavarro during the Fall '10 term at IUPUI.

Page1 / 4

WEEK+14+-+Restorative+Justice (1) - Restorative Justice: A...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 3. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online