Therapeutic Practice through Restorative Justice: Managing Stigma in Family Treatment Court
Family Treatment Court manages parents with current child protection cases and co-occurring addiction to drugs and/or alcohol and is an example of a growing number of problem centred courts that utilise the principles of therapeutic jurisprudence and restorative justice to process cases. An 18-month study of a Washington State Family Treatment Court reveals that the potential harmful stigma of ‘bad parent’, ‘addict’ and ‘offender’ are managed through interactions between the courtroom treatment team and court clients. Findings show how court interactions and practice bring restorative justice into the mainstream court system by managing the stigma associated with justice system supervision. Lessons learned from Family Treatment Court provide important consideration for mainstreaming therapeutic and restorative practice into the courtroom and the examination of interactions between court clients and courtroom personnel demonstrate how to translate stigma management from theory into practice.
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