Counselling Female Offenders and Victims

    Star rating 3/5.

    By Katherine Van Wormer.
    Springer Publishing
    ISBN 0826113958

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    Written from a feminist perspective by an author with
    considerable knowledge and experience of the North American
    criminal justice systems and particularly of their custodial
    services, this book promotes a “restorative strengths” approach to
    engaging with the female offender, writes Charlie Beaumont.

    This approach requires that the victimisation of women by men
    and a male-controlled justice system and society must be
    acknowledged and worked through in individual cases. Successful
    outcomes may be achieved by appealing to, and developing the
    strengths of women (akin to motivational interviewing), which will
    enable them to make good for their offending.

    However, the emphasis of this book is too much on the paucity
    and irrelevance of what prison can provide. A more helpful approach
    would have been to explore in detail the reasons for the success of
    community-based programmes, using the restorative strengths
    approach, so that the reader could actually take something from the
    book and test it in practice.

    Charlie Beaumont, Youth Justice Board.

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