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Home > Arhiva > 2012 > Numar: 3 > Editorial

 Editorial

    by:
  • Ioan Durnescu (PhD, University of Bucharest, Faculty of Sociology and Social Work, 9 Schitu Măgureanu Street, Bucharest, Romania, phone: 0040 213140326, email: idurnescu@gmail.com)

At the time we suggested the topic for this special issue we had only a general idea about the kind of articles that we are looking for. It was a pleasure for us later when submissions started to arrive and we saw that almost all the subjects that occupy the international arena are well represented.

The first two papers of this issue cover from different perspectives the subject of restorative justice, its developments in new jurisdictions and its complex relationships with the more traditional forms of making justice. The first one, for instance, ‘Restorative Juvenile Justice in South Africa’ written by Rika Swanzen and Tara Harris places the restorative justice in a broader context of democratization and peacemaking criminology. The second one, written by Dana Maria Antonie, a former student of the University of Bucharest, scrutinizes the way restorative justice elements were introduced in juvenile justice in England and Wales through referral order. Is the referral order the right articulation for restorative justice philosophy is just one of the central questions of this useful paper.

Another well-represented topic in this issue is prisoner treatment and resettlement. In this respect, the article written by Sue King put forward a very timely debate about the role of the prison officer in a post-authoritarian prison ideology. Important questions are raised about the identity of prison staff as a human service provider or as a manager of prisoners. The approaches undertaken by staff when exercising their duties in very important in determining the prisoner’s life. The impact of incarceration on recidivists and non-recidivists and also the adaptation strategies are assessed the article written by Turliuc and colleagues. In her article, Ineke Pruin critically assess to what extent the German legislation at the federal and lander level supports what we know as effective in structured release. In relation to release of prisoners are also the next two papers – Tica et al. and Chipea et al. – that look at the society reaction towards released prisoners in Romania. Important obstacles are identified in the process of reintegration and some solutions are discussed.

The focus of the next three articles returns to the juvenile justice subject. In his paper, professor Adrian Hatos describes a very useful tool that can be of great help in the prevention strategies – the Composite Index of School Problems (CISP). Pascal Decarpes presents in a critical manner the developments in the juvenile justice in France. It seems that ‘tough on crime’ policies in juvenile justice only raise children rights problems rather than solving the criminality issues. Magdalena Vicovan looks at the interaction between early motherhood, the criminality of the father and the child development. She seems to suggest that early interventions deployed by social services, probation services and so on are needed in order to prevent anti-social behavior among juveniles.
Probation and offender motivation is the focus of the next article written by Micle and colleagues. Based on an empirical research they demonstrate that although the literature of what works emphasizes the importance of the inner motivation for change, probation services have to face a different reality where most offenders have a rather extrinsic motivation. In their conclusions, the authors recommend that, in order to move from outside to the inside motivation for change, the approach based on targeting only criminogenic needs should be abandoned.

Since most of the offenders all over the world come from the most deprived and marginal areas of society, they are considered as ‘vulnerable’ people. How is this aspect reflected in the education curricula in seven countries is assessed in the final article of this special issue.

By covering a large variety of ‘hot’ topics in the area of working with people at risk and also with offenders, this issue of the Review of Social Works hopes to contribute to the international debates in the post-welfare penal era.