VICTIMS’ EXPERIENCES OF RESTORATIVE MEDIATION: A DEVELOPMENTAL SOCIAL WORK PERSPECTIVE
AbstractVictim-offender mediation is an expression of restorative justice. The wellbeing of victims of crime is a central feature of restorative justice services. The process of restorative mediation entails all parties, i.e. the victim, the offender, their families and members of the community, voluntarily participating in face-to-face dialogue, where truth-telling enables the offender to take personal responsibility for his/her criminal behaviour (Rainford, 2010). An important outcome of restorative mediation is reaching an agreement regarding the strategies to remedy the wrongdoing. A developmental social work perspective counteracts retributive justice in shifting the intervention focus from individual defect and blame to reform and social change (Midgley, 2010). Developmental social work is embedded in investment strategies in restoring people to full functioning in society (Rainford, 2010). In fact, “social investment, economic participation, empowerment and human investment are relevant to all systems and forms of social work intervention” (Midgley, 2010:12
ABRAMS, A., UMBREIT, M. & GORDON, A. 2006. Young offenders speak about meeting their victims: implications for future programs. Contemporary Justice Review, 9(3):243-256.
AGOZINO, B. 2005. Crime, criminology and post-colonial theory: criminological reflections on West Africa. African Journal of Criminology & Justice Studies, 1(2):150-158.
BABBIE, E. & MOUTON, J. 2001. The practice of social research. Cape Town: Oxford University Press.
BAFFOUR, T.D. 2006. Ethnic and gender differences in offending patterns: examining family group conferencing interventions among at-risk adolescents. Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal, 23(5-6):557-578.
BERGSETH, K.J. & BOUFFARD, J.A. 2007. The long-term impact of restorative justice programming for juvenile offenders. Journal of Criminal Justice, 35:433-451.
BONTA, J., WALLACE-CAPRETTA, S., ROONEY, J. & MCANOY, K. 2002. An outcome evaluation of a restorative justice alternative to incarceration. Contemporary Justice Review, 5(4):319-338.
BONTA, J., JESSEMAN, R., RUGGE, T. & CORMIER, R. 2006. Restorative justice and recidivism: promises made, promises kept? In: SULLIVAN, D. & TIFFT, L. (eds) Handbook of restorative justice: a global perspective. New York: Routledge.
BRADSHAW, W., ROSEBOROUGH, D. & UMBREIT, M.S. 2006. The effect of victim offender mediation on juvenile offender recidivism: a meta-analysis. Conflict Resolution Quarterly, 24(1):87-98.
BRONFENBRENNER, U. 1994. Ecological models of human development. In: GAUVAIN, M. & COLE, M. (eds) International Encyclopedia of Education (2nd ed). New York: Freeman.
BRONFENBRENNER, U. 1977. Toward and experimental ecology of human development. American Psychologist, 32:513-531.
CARRILLO, R. & CARTER, J. 2001. Guidelines for conducting family team conferences when there is a history of domestic violence. San Francisco: Family Violence Prevention Fund.
COATES, R.B., UMBREIT, M.S. & VOS, B. 2006. Responding to hate crimes through restorative justice dialogue. Contemporary Justice Review, 9(1):7-21.
DE BEUS, K. & RODRIGUEZ, N. 2007. Restorative justice practice: an examination of program completion and recidivism. Journal of Criminal Justice, 35:337-347.
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT. 2011. Chief Directorate: Promotion of the Rights of Vulnerable Groups. Restorative Justice the road to healing. Available: www.justice.gov.za
DISSEL, A. 2002. Restoring the harmony: piloting victim offender conferencing in South Africa. Paper presented at the Effective Restorative Justice Conference, De Montfort University, Leicester, 20-21 March 2002.
DZUR, A.W. & OLSON, S.M. 2004. The value of community participation in restorative justice. Journal of Social Philosophy, 35(1):91-107.
FARLEY, O.W., SMITH, L.L. & BOYLE, S.W. 2003. Introduction to social work. Boston: Pearson Education.
FIVAZ, L. 2002. Changing the mind-set. Article 40, 4(4):6-7.
GRAY, M. 2010. Theories of social work practice. In: NICHOLAS, L., RAUTENBACH, J. & MAISTRY, M. (eds) Introduction to Social Work. Claremont: Juta and Company.
GRAY, M. 2006. The progress of social development in South Africa. International Journal of Social Welfare, 15(Supl):S53-S64.
HARGOVAN, H. 2010. Doing justice differently: Is restorative justice appropriate for domestic violence? CRIMSA 2009 Conference Special Edition, 2:25-41.
HARGOVAN, H. 2009. Doing justice differently: a community-based restorative justice initiative in KwaZulu-Natal. Acta Criminologica, 22(3):63-87.
HARGOVAN, H. 2007. Restorative justice: yesterday, today and tomorrow – making sense of shifting perspectives in crime control and criminal justice in South Africa. Acta Criminologica, 20(1):79-90.
HOEFER, R. 2012. Advocacy practice for social justice (2nd ed). Chicago, Illinois: Lyceum Books.
HUDSON, B. 2002. Restorative justice and gendered violence: diversion or effective justice? British Journal of Criminology, 42:616-634.
IFE, J. 2012. Human Rights and Social Work. Towards rights-based practice (3rd ed). London: Cambridge University Press.
INTER-MINISTERIAL COMMITTEE ON YOUNG PEOPLE AT RISK. 1996. Interim policy recommendations for the transformation of the child and youth care system. Pretoria: Department of Welfare.
JACOBS-DU PREEZ, N. 2002. The United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration of Juvenile Justice applied in an African context. Acta Criminologica, 15(2):35-41.
LARANCE, L.Y. 2001. Fostering social capital through NGO design. International Social Work, 44(1):7-18.
LATIMER, J., DOWDEN, C. & MUISE, D. 2005. The effectiveness of restorative justice practices: a meta-analysis. The Prison Journal, 85(2):127-144.
LOMBARD, A. 2008. The implementation of the White Paper for Social Welfare: A ten-year review. The Social Work Practitioner-Researcher/Die Maatskaplikewerk Navorser-Praktisyn, 20(2):154-173.
LOMBARD, A. & WAIRIRE, G. 2010. Developmental social work in South Africa and Kenya: Some lessons from Africa. The Social Work Practitioner-Researcher, Special Issue, April: 98-111.
LYONS, K. & HUEGLER, N. 2011. Social exclusion and inclusion. In: HEALY, L.M. & LINK, R.J. (eds) Handbook of International Social Work. Human Rights, Development, and the Global Profession. New York: Oxford University Press.
MAKHATHINI, O. 1996. The law could learn a lot from “Ubuntu”. Child & Youth Care, 14(8):8-9.
McCOLD, P. & WACHTEL, T. 2000. Restorative justice theory validation. Paper presented at the Fourth International Conference on Restorative Justice for Juveniles, Tübingen, Germany, 1-4 October 2000.
MIDGLEY, J. 2010. Community practice and developmental social work. In: MIDGLEY, J. & CONLEY, A. (eds) Social work and social development. Theories and skills for developmental social work. New York: Oxford University Press.
MKHIZE, N. 2004. An African perspective. In: HOOK, D., MKHIZE, N., KIGUWA, P. & COLLINS, A. (eds) Critical Psychology. Lansdowne: UCT Press. http://socialwork.journals.ac.za/
MORRIS, A. 2002. Critiquing the critics: a brief response to critics of restorative justice. British Journal of Criminology, 42:596-615.
MOUSOURAKIS, G. 2004. Restorative justice: some reflections on contemporary theory and practice. Journal for Juridical Science, 29(1):1-27.
MUNTINGH, L. & MONAHENG, A. 1998. Family matters. How young offenders’ families engage in restorative justice. Track Two, (October):13-14.
MUTTER, R. & DUGMORE, P. 2008. Family group conferences in youth justice. Health and Social Care in the Community, 16(3):262-270.
NUGENT, W.R. & PADDOCK, J.B. 1995. The effect of victim-offender mediation severity of reoffense. Mediation Quarterly, 12(4):353-367.
OKAFO, N. 2006. Relevance of African traditional jurisprudence on control, justice and law: a critique of the Igbo experiences. African Journal of Criminology & Justice Studies, 2(1):37-62.
OVENS, M. & PRINSLOO, J. 2010. An exploration of tradition African paradigm in a postmodern world with specific reference to Criminology. Acta Criminologica CRIMSA Conference Special Edition, 2:1-10.
PATEL, L. 2005. Social Welfare and Social Development in South Africa. Cape Town: Oxford Publishers.
PULE, B. 2002. An experience with a family group conference. Article 40, 4(2):9.
RAINFORD, W.C. 2010. Crime, Social Development, and Correctional Social Work. In Midgley, J. & Conley, A. (Eds). Social Work and Social Development. Theories and Skills for Developmental Social Work. New York: Oxford University Press.
REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA [RSA]. 2011. The Presidency. National Planning Commission. National Development Plan. Vision for 2013. [Online] Available: http://www.npconline.co.za/MediaLib/Downloads/Downloads/Executive%20Summary-NDP%202030%20-%20Our%20future%20-%20make%20it%20work.pdf
REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA [RSA]. 1997. Ministry for Welfare and Population Development. White Paper for Social Welfare. Notice 1108 of 1997. Government Gazette, 386(18166). Pretoria: Government Printers.
RODRIGUEZ, N. 2007. Restorative justice at work: examining the impact of restorative justice resolutions on juvenile recidivism. Crime and Delinquency, 53(3):355-379.
ROSE, S.R. 1998. Group work with child and adolescents. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.
SEN, A. 1999. Development as Freedom. New York: Anchor Books.
SHEARAR, A. 2005. A new approach to youth justice? Exploring the feasibility of restorative justice in South Africa. Cape Town: University of Cape Town (Department of Social Development). http://socialwork.journals.ac.za/
SCHNEIDER, C.D. 2000. What it means to be sorry: the power of apology in mediation. Mediation Quarterly, 17(3):265-280.
SKELTON, A. 2002. Restorative justice as framework for juvenile justice reform. British Journal of Criminology, 42:496-513.
SKELTON, A. & FRANK, C. 2001. Conferencing in South Africa: returning to our future. In: MORRIS, A. & MAXWELL, G. (eds) Restorative justice for juveniles: conferencing, mediation and circles. Oregon: Hart Publishing.
STEYN, F. 2012. Recreational intervention with adolescent offenders: Prospects and challenges in the South African context. African Journal for Physical, Health Education, Recreation and Dance, 18(2):423-433.
STEYN, F. 2008. Lifeskills training for children with problem and deviant behaviour: the Noupoort Youth and Community Development Project. Acta Academica, 40(2):205-243.
STRAUB-BERNASCONI, S. 2011. Human rights and their relevance for Social work as theory and practice. In: HEALY, L.M. & LINK, R.J. (eds) Handbook of International Social Work. Human Rights, Development, and the Global Profession. New York: Oxford University Press.
STRYDOM, H. & STRYDOM, C. 2010. Group Work. In: NICHOLAS, L., RAUTENBACH, J. & MAISTRY, M. (eds) Introduction to Social Work. Claremont: Juta and Company.
TAYLOR, D. 2007. “The trust, the whole truth, nothing but the truth”: truth, community and narrative in African procedural law. Comparative and International Law Journal of Southern Africa, 40(2):215-236.
TOSELAND, R.W. & RIVAS, R.F. 2009. An introduction to group work practice (6th ed). Boston: Pearson.
UNITED NATIONS. 1994. Professional Training Series No. 1. Human rights and Social work. A manual for schools of Social work and the Social work profession. Geneva. Centre for Human Rights.
UMBREIT, M.S. 1997. Humanistic mediation: a transformative journey of peacemaking. Mediation Quarterly, 14(3):201-213.
UMBREIT, M.S., COATES, R.B. & VOS, B. 2007. Restorative justice dialogue: a multi-dimensional, evidence-based practice theory. Contemporary Justice Review, 10(1):23-41.
UMBREIT, M.S. & FERCELLO, C. 1997. Woodbury Police Department’s restorative justice community conferencing program: an initial assessment of client satisfaction. St Paul: University of Minnesota (School of Social Work).
WEMMERS, J. & CYR, K. 2005. Can mediation be therapeutic for crime victims? An evaluation of victims’ experiences in mediation with young offenders. Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice, 47(3):527-544.
WYRICK, P.A. & COSTANZO, M.A. 1999. Predictors of client participation in victim-offender mediation. Mediation Quarterly, 16(3):253-267.
ZASTROW, C.H. 2009. Social work with groups – a comprehensive workbook (7th ed). Belmont (CA): Brooks/Cole.
ZEHR, H. 2004. Commentary: restorative justice: beyond victim-offender mediation. Conflict Resolution
How to Cite
This journal is an open access journal, and the authors and journal should be properly acknowledged when works are cited.
Social Work/Maatskaplike Werk hold copyright.
Auhtors may use the publishers version for teaching purposes, in books, and with conferences.
The following license applies:
Attribution CC BY-4.0
This license lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon your work, even commercially, as long as they credit you for the original creation.
Articles as a whole may not be re-published with another journal.