Restorative Justice: A Systematic Review of the Social Work Literature
AbstractRestorative justice is an alternative paradigm for dealing with the effects of crime and wrongdoing that seeks to bring healing to victims, offenders, and the community. Although a key element of social work’s ethical code is the obligation to work toward social justice, this has been viewed primarily as efforts to ensure a fair distribution of resources and opportunities. Yet justice is also restorative in nature—seeking to restore and enhance victims, offenders, and communities to fuller functioning. This article systematically reviews 80 social work peer-reviewed articles dealing with restorative justice. The role of social workers in restorative justice programs remains largely unknown. Suggestions are made for enhancing social work practice in the restorative justice arena.