Date of Award

2014

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Social Work

Abstract

Restorative justice seeks to bring together stakeholders in the justice system by acknowledging harm caused by offending behavior and finding ways to repair that harm. The activities associated with restorative justice create the potential for meaningful and positive outcomes for all stakeholders within the system. Restorative justice asks, what is the harm?, who are the stakeholders?, and, how can the harm best be repaired? A particular restorative practice - the talking circle - is a common practice of restorative justice efforts. The potential for restorative justice practices, like the talking circle, is developing of a new way of understanding for stakeholders in the justice system.

Given the central role that probation officers serve in our criminal justice system, it is worth inquiring whether the restorative practices of the talking circle may have a positive impact on probation officers' professional and personal wellbeing. There is very little literature regarding the talking circle within restorative justice, this study considers how talking circles may be used with probation officers to facilitate a new way understanding and how this new way of being may inform probation officers practice.

This study focuses on the talking circle to more fully understand it's usefulness in helping probation officers increase their sense of well-being and transcendence from old models of thinking to more transformative ways of being.

The transformative process is encouraged with the reflective practice of the circle process and it's components of emotional intelligence, mindfulness, and interpersonal neurobiology. Circles provide a forum in which participants from varied backgrounds meet with respect and sincerity to speak of, and listen to, differing perspectives.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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