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    Social Work and Restorative Justice: Skills for Dialogue, Peacemaking, and Reconciliation

    By: Unknown

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    Restorative justice and social work share a number of principles and goals, as they both seek to stem violence and to address the pain associated with harm. Many of the processes used by restorative justice practitioners are based on indigenous practices that facilitate peacemaking, victim healing and reparation, and reengagement of offenders. As a method for transforming conflict, restorative justice can be viewed as a theory, a principle, a practice, and a skill set. Each of these components has the ability to inform and strengthen social work practice and restorative practices can be enhanced by the knowledge, practice modes, and interdisciplinary interaction pioneered by social work. As the first book of its kind, Social Work and Restorative Justice examines the ways that these two disciplines intersect. Each chapter engages readers in an in-depth exploration of the history and contemporary realities of both disciplines, presenting vivid case studies in practice areas such as school settings, communities, domestic violence, homicide, prisons, child welfare, and gerontology. Social workers and restorative justice practitioners collaborate on each chapter, outlining specific intervention approaches and practice principles that integrate the strengths of each approach in cases ranging from the commonplace contradiction of punishing public school students for behavioral problems by depriving them of the opportunity to learn from their mistakes to the role that both social work and restorative processes have played in the rebuilding of Liberia. In a holistic and critical exploration of how these fields can work together more effectively, the books authors also importantly highlight tensions between their values, skills, and interventions, such as the risks and benefits of employing restorative justice techniques in a prison setting. Innovative and forward thinking, Social Work and Restorative Justice presents a synergistic practice model that will improve the effectiveness of social workers and restorative justice practitioners who seek to bring about healing and recovery in families and communities.

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