Source: (2008) Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice. 50(1):31-58.
Community-based restorative justice (RJ) programs rely heavily on volunteers to perform a range of duties, including facilitating case conferences. We surveyed 76 volunteers from 12 RJ programs throughout British Columbia, Canada, in order to (1) identify the characteristics of volunteers, (2) document their involvement in RJ, (3) measure their motivations to volunteer, (4) explore the skills they perceive to be useful, (5) document the training they receive, and (6) determine the factors that influence satisfaction with their roles. This study was guided by a conceptual model of the RJ volunteer process. We found that RJ volunteers comprise primarily older Caucasian women. Volunteers were mostly recruited by word of mouth and were motivated by their commitment to RJ ideals. Although they brought a wealth of skills and qualifications, volunteers were trained in order to provide a range of services to programs. Finally, volunteers were generally satisfied with their roles in RJ programs. These findings have implications for volunteer recruitment, training, and retention. (author’s abstract)
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