Date of Graduation

Spring 2012

Degree

Master of Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice

Department

Criminology and Criminal Justice

Committee Chair

Aida Hass

Keywords

restorative justice, volunteerism, community, criminal justice, transformative justice, juvenile justice, victim offender mediation, victim impact panels, family group conferencing

Subject Categories

Criminology and Criminal Justice

Abstract

As restorative justice continues to gain greater legitimacy within the criminal justice system, its practices are naturally adapted to more contexts, and new models of restorative practice inevitably emerge. With this evolution and growth, restorative practices have developed which replace community-based volunteer facilitators with paid professionals such as law enforcement, probation, and parole officers. A lack of research exists as to the role volunteer facilitation plays in the restorative process, as well as the effect removing community volunteers may have on the integrity and validity of restorative justice and its outcomes. Using a blended-methods approach, including a questionnaire and in-depth interviews, the current study focuses on the perceptions of a group of volunteer restorative facilitators in southwest Missouri regarding their views on the roles of community and volunteerism within restorative justice. Results indicate that the volunteer facilitators do link their volunteerism to the efficacy of restorative justice, as well as the role community plays in restorative processes. These results support theoretical rationales for restorative justice, and also lead to important questions regarding restorative justice, its process, and its practice.

Copyright

© Caryn Elizabeth Saxon

Campus Only

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