Restorative Justice: Empowering Offenders through Rehabilitation and Competency Development
The role of rehabilitation in the restorative justice approach is to assist the offender in giving up criminal activity and leading a lawful, productive life (Ward et al., 2014). For juvenile offenders, one component that is sometimes found in the rehabilitation phase is the development of competencies. Competency is the capacity to do something well that is valued by others (Office of Juvenile and Delinquency Prevention, n.d.). Juvenile offenders partake in community service opportunities that teach them skills, just like the Community Justice Corps in Deschutes County, OR which has assisted juvenile offenders in giving back to their community by building a 70-bed shelter for the homeless, stocking firewood for the county’s impoverished elderly, and many other service acts (Office of Juvenile and Delinquency Prevention, n.d.). The skills learned through programs like that are invaluable and can assist in community development. For adults, similar programs can be found around the United States, just like the Public Safety Works program in Maryland run by The Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, which helps offenders develop the basic skills needed to be effective employees and also “partners with other government agencies, community groups and non-profits to help them accomplish jobs that might otherwise not get done due to limited resources and funding” (Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, n.d.).
Factors that may contribute to or detract from those programs include the community program’s willingness to agree to partner with restorative justice programs and the offender’s commitment to learning the skills taught during such programs.
Ward, T., Fox, K. J., & Garber, M. (2014). Restorative justice, offender rehabilitation and desistance. Retrieved on August 4th, 2022, at https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.5235/20504722.214.171.124?needAccess=true
Maryland Department of Safety and Correctional Services. (n.d.). Rehabilitation. Retrieved on August 4th, 2022, at https://www.dpscs.state.md.us/rehabilitation/
Office of juvenile and Delinquency prevention. (n.d.). Balanced and Restorative Justice Practice: Competency Development. Retrieved on August 4th, 2022, at https://ojjdp.ojp.gov/sites/g/files/xyckuh176/files/pubs/implementing/competency.html
STUDENT REPLY #2 Lydia Kelly
Rehabilitation in the restorative justice is an important step that can help lower the rate of reoffending as well as integrate the offender back into society (Ward, Fox, & Garber, 2014). When we offer rehabilitation, we look at two models, Risk Need Responsivity (RNR) and Good Lives Model (GLM) (Ward, Fox, & Garber, 2014) the programs look at the type of treatment and the what the need is, as well as how it is executed (Ward, Fox, & Garber, 2014). The GLM model is similar to the RNR, it just builds on the model, it is also used in both adult and children offenders (Ward, Fox, & Garber, 2014). If the individual, you are working with is not willing or wanting to live a purposeful and happy life neither program will work for that person. A goal oriented and need to be a better person will make the individual more prone to success.