The Role of the Communities of Care in Promoting the Social Reintegration of Ex-Offenders: An Account of Restorative Practices in the Philippines

Wednesday, July 16, 2014: 6:35 PM
Room: Booth 58
Oral Presentation
Marina GAMO , Faculty of Arts and Letters, University of Santo Tomas, Manila, Philippines
Leanne Kym Jane LOZANES , Faculty of Arts and Letters, University of Santo Tomas, Manila, Bacoor, Cavite, Philippines

There is a growing literature on prisons and restorative justice; however, creating social groups as a restorative practice remains underresearched in the field of Sociology. This study argues that the key to successful rehabilitation is in creating communities of care (the media, the government, the business groups, the Church and the family) (Gamo, 2007) who will support and reintegrate the ex-offenders in their re-entry to free society. It employs a local-based model of rehabilitation following the concept of restorative justice – the Care System Model (Gamo, 2007).  Furthermore, it utilizes a case study approach wherein data was gathered through semi-structured interviews patterned in a storytelling manner. The findings of the study reveal that: a) reintegration should start with the community acceptance of ex-offenders; b) the Communities of Care (Gamo, 2007) functions as one in addressing the needs of ex-offenders; and c) the programs and policies created for ex-offenders should respond to their needs. This implies that community acceptance and involvement is significant in promoting the reintegration of ex-offenders as a restorative practice. What this research reveals is that there seems to be a weak functioning on the part of the communities of care in terms of carrying out their specific functions. It recommends that further studies on ex-offenders, on recidivists and on the communities of care (Gamo, 2007) should be conducted as an addition to the growing literature existing on Prison Sociology.