Source: (2005) Paper presented at the NACSW Convention 2005, October, Grand Rapids, Michigan. Botsford, CT: North American Association of Christians in Social Work (NACSW). Downloaded 19 December 2005.

When this issue came out, some of us began to discuss these stories on NACSW’s general listserv. We mostly marveled at how victims and their families can react like this in the wake of such a terrible tragedy. We asked questions about whether victims and their families experience a sense of “closure” with the disposition of cases in our criminal justice system, especially in cases of capital murder. For the second time in the past few years, we had some remarks and questions about restorative justice: What is the theory underlying restorative justice? It is faith-based, or not? Who or what is it that is being restored? Restored to what? With the encouragement of Matthew Schobert and others, I set out to find answers to these questions. This workshop, then, is a presentation of some underlying theory of restorative justice and how it intersects with our criminal justice system, the profession of social work, and Christianity. This material is on the basic level, as indicated in the workshop schedule. This is a work in progress. I know more about restorative justice today than I did six months ago, and I have no doubt that I will know even more about restorative justice tomorrow as a result of discussions generated by this workshop. It is likely that that you will not agree with everything you hear in this presentation. That’s OK. I will be satisfied to begin a conversation on the subject.(excerpt)

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