Illustration by James Heimer for Harvard Magazine
Bazemore, Gordon, Mara Schiff and S. Gordon Bazemore. Juvenile Justice Reform And Restorative Justice: Building Theory And Policy From Practice (Willan, 2004)
This book, based on a large-scale research project funded by the National Institute of Justice and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, provides an overview of the restorative justice conferencing programs currently in operation in the United States, paying particular attention to the qualitative dimensions of this, based on interviews, focus groups and ethnographic observation. It provides an unrivalled view of restorative justice conferencing in practice, and what the people involved felt and thought about it.
The book looks at four structural variations in the face-to-face form of restorative decision making: family group conferences, victim-offender mediation/dialogue, neighborhood accountability boards, peacemaking circles. The authors address two issues that have received limited research emphasis in restorative justice: the lack of clear and consistent standards, and the absence of testable theories of intervention that reflect what has become a rather diverse practice. In response the authors conclude with a proposed structure for principle-based evaluation designed to test emerging theories of restorative decision making.
Bradford, Nicholas and David Lesal. A Real-World Guide to Restorative Justice in Schools: Practical Philosophy, Useful Tools, and True Stories (Jessica Kingsley Pub, 2021).
This book is designed to help you navigate the challenges and joys of building and maintaining a healthy restorative ecosystem in your school, while providing concrete tools and real-world stories to guide you through the process.
Traditional methods of discipline are commonly found to be ineffective, and this book shows how restorative justice can benefit schools in a huge variety of ways, such as decreasing the need for suspensions, increasing academic outcomes, and improving the health of your whole school community.
Written by the founder and the education director of the National Center for Restorative Justice, each and every chapter is packed with expertise on everything from carrying out the stages of a restorative circle to understanding the importance of conflict. The authors pull no punches in showing that this work is not always easy, but their passion for restorative justice shines out of every page, demonstrating just how valuable this approach can be in bringing the absolute best out of your students and school.
Breton, Denise. The Mystic Heart of Justice: Restoring Wholeness in a Broken World (Swedenborg Foundation Publishers, 2001)
This philosophical and spiritual look at justice begins, predictably, with a critique of the existing justice system but casts its net widely, examining the pervasive feelings of guilt and failure, the sense of separateness that all external reward-and-punishment systems create--whether in families, schools, businesses, or courts. We feel that we are being judged constantly; we even internalize messages that we are "no good." Perhaps worse, inner motivation is destroyed by rewards and punishments, so that creative expression wanes, a loss for individuals and society alike. The alternative is to create a justice system that is not from "outside in" but "inside out." Looking at astonishing examples among Native Americans, the authors show that many human cultures over thousands of years flourished without resorting to reward-punishment systems. Indigenous peoples, for instance, affirmed the uniqueness of each individual, crafting social forms that drew out that uniqueness. The results were cohesive societies that can serve as models for changing our fundamental approach to fairness today. Realizing that most readers will wonder what a different system might be, the authors turn to the restorative justice movement and its successes all over the world, providing examples of victim-offender mediation that will convert the most hardened skeptic. For a larger scale, they turn to the Ojibway-Cree Hollow Water community, which has revolutionized ideas of justice in Canada. Denise Breton is one of the finest philosophers writing today, able to present difficult subjects in engaging ways to the public. Now, with her co-author (her former editor at Hazelden), she has produced a definitive critique of our present socialization system, with its inaction in the face of suffering and its instilling of fear and guilt society-wide. To this "counterfeit" justice, they pose the alternative of rediscovering our souls, that powerful inner uniqueness that is the basis for true community.
Carter, Jimmy. Talking Peace: A Vision for the Next Generation (Puffin, 1995)
From a global leader and human rights advocate whose commitment to public service has reached from Georgia to the White House to developing countries around the world comes a remarkable discussion of the foremost issue of our time: peace.
This book is the first by a former United States president to address younger readers. Part personal narrative and part thoughtful exposition of current history, the vivid text examines the causes and effects of conflict and explains the urgent call for nonviolent conflict resolution in the world today. The author introduces readers to the peacemaking techniques that he developed in the Oval Office and has continued to use at the Carter Center, in Atlanta, Georgia, a nonpartisan public-policy organization that he and his wife, Rosalynn, founded in 1982. Among other projects, the Carter Center has monitored elections in Latin America and Africa, conducted mediation talks between parties in conflict, brought improved cultivation methods to thousands of African farmers, and spearheaded the global attack against several deadly diseases.
Classen, Ron and Roxanne Discipline That Restores: Strategies to Create Respect, Cooperation, and Responsibility in the Classroom (Independently published, 2020).
Understanding the core issues of getting students to cooperate has never been so clear and concise. In this second edition, widely respected authors and educators, Ron and Roxanne Claassen, maintain the core restorative justice discipline system that makes things as right as possible, while adding new insights and evidence/research. The original Latin definition of discipline (disciplina) did not include punishment. Discipline (needed to prevent and respond to misbehavior) was focused on learning and teaching. Teachers and Students using DTR Teach and Learn:
- The dangers and opportunities of conflict and misbehavior
- How to recognize and respond to an escalating conflict
- Responsibility through development of classroom respect agreements
- That trust grows when agreements are made and kept (teacher/student and student/student)
- A Visual Model of 4 Options that assists in deciding and inviting a constructive response to conflict and misbehavior
- Respect and appreciation for differences
- Listening and Speaking Skills to transform confrontation into cooperation
- A Peacemaking Model •Step by step processes to constructively address injustices and other conflicts or problems
- The carefully constructed Flowchart to guide a constructive and restorative justice escalation when necessary.
- How to mediate conflicts at school and home •Accountability, the value of and process for following up on agreements DTR, as the discipline system, creates a climate of respect while increasing accountability in their classrooms and schools.
DTR uniquely blends theory, strategies, and best practices of Conflict Resolution Education, Peacemaking, Mindfulness, and Restorative Justice, and is illustrated with a multitude of case studies to form an effective discipline system. DTR supports the positive behavior of all students and is especially effective with those students who are most resistant to authority by involving them in processes that empower them to be responsible and accountable. DTR transforms misbehavior into learning experiences that decrease stress, improve effectiveness, and build relationships. DTR is grounded in Ron’s extensive and pioneer work in Restorative Justice (RJ) and Victim Offender Reconciliation Program (VORP) and Roxanne’s 20 years of adapting the theory, skills and strategies of RJ and VORP to transform her school’s punitive discipline to restorative discipline. Punishment for misbehavior causes resentment to grow and damages teacher/student relationships, at least a little, and sometimes a lot. Even when a DTR teacher or administrator uses their power and authority, it is done in a way that is reasonable, respectful, restorative, and intended to reintegrate (not exclude) the student. Schools using DTR reduce or eliminate suspensions and expulsions because they are not needed, not because the authorities are being permissive and overlooking bad behavior. (note the bullet points)
Cornwell, David J. and Tony Cameron. Criminal Punishment And Restorative Justice: Past, Present And Future Perspectives (Waterside Press, 2006)
Criminal Punishment and Restorative Justice is an appraisal of the divide that exists between punitive and restorative methods. The book looks at events that serve to restrict a greater and more emphatic adoption of restorative justice and its huge potential in contemporary criminal justice developments. In an era of increasing and worldwide reliance on imprisonment and other punitive methods, the author argues that justice and communities would be far better served by a more enthusiastic and early shift to restorative methods. Criminal Punishment and Restorative Justice provides an international perspective on how restorative justice can bring about an altogether more enlightened approach to dealing with offenders and victims alike, against a backdrop of often spurious, traditional justifications for punishment. While acknowledging the need for a constructive use of custody and other corrections in response to serious crime, the author points out that the present over-reliance on custody can be reduced by challenging offenders to take responsibility for their offenses and to make practical reparation for their wrong-doing and repairing the harm that they have caused. The book also assesses the potential of restorative justice to make corrections more effective, civilized, humane, and pragmatic in terms of finding solutions to crime on the basis of sound principles and information, not political expediency.
Evans, Katherine and Dorothy Vaandering. The Little Book of Restorative Justice in Education: Fostering Responsibility, Healing and Hope in Schools (The Little Books of Justice and Peacebuilding) (Good Books, 2016)
Much more than a response to harm, restorative justice nurtures relational, interconnected school cultures. The wisdom embedded within its principles and practices is being welcomed at a time when exclusionary discipline and zero tolerance policies are recognized as perpetuating student apathy, disproportionality, and the school-to-prison pipeline.
Relying on the wisdom of early proponents of restorative justice, the daily experiences of educators, and the authors’ extensive experience as classroom teachers and researchers, this Little Book guides the growth of restorative justice in education (RJE) into the future. Incorporating activities, stories, and examples throughout the book, three major interconnected and equally important aspects of restorative justice in education are explained and applied:
- Creating just and equitable learning environments
- Building and maintaining healthy relationships
- Healing harm and transforming conflict
The Little Book of Restorative Justice in Education is a reference that practitioners can turn to repeatedly for clarity and consistency as they implement restorative justice in educational settings.
(to order contact the new publisher directly: Kathryn Mennone firstname.lastname@example.org)
Fisher, Roger, William L. Ury, Bruce Patton. Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving IN (Penguin Publishing Group, 2011)
The key text on problem-solving negotiation-updated and revised
Since its original publication nearly thirty years ago, Getting to Yes has helped millions of people learn a better way to negotiate. One of the primary business texts of the modern era, it is based on the work of the Harvard Negotiation Project, a group that deals with all levels of negotiation and conflict resolution.
Getting to Yes offers a proven, step-by-step strategy for coming to mutually acceptable agreements in every sort of conflict. Thoroughly updated and revised, it offers readers a straight- forward, universally applicable method for negotiating personal and professional disputes without getting angry-or getting taken.
Galaway, Burt and Joe Hudson. Restorative Justice: International Perspectives (Lynne Rienner Publishers, 1996)
The introduction notes that three elements are fundamental to any restorative justice definition and practice. First, crime is viewed primarily as a conflict between individuals that results in injuries to victims, communities, and the offenders themselves, and only secondarily as a violation against the state. Second, the aim of the criminal justice process should be to create peace in communities by reconciling the parties and repairing the injuries caused by the dispute. Third, the criminal justice process should facilitate active participation by victims, offenders, and their communities in order to find solutions to the conflict. Six papers discuss the theory for restorative justice practice; 5 address restorative justice practice among indigenous peoples; 8 examine restorative justice practice issues; and 11 papers consider restorative justice program applications. Detailed descriptions of Aboriginal restorative practices in various countries show that current restorative justice approaches mirror ancient ways of settling disputes. Papers present restorative justice practices at various points in the justice system on the basis of referrals from prosecutors, judges, and probation and parole officials. Additionally, one paper addresses dispute settlement between staff and inmates of a correctional institution, and another presents research on police strategies that include the application of restorative approaches in managing difficult situations. Further, a paper describes a statewide effort to implement restorative justice practices at all points within the justice systems and in local communities. Restorative justice is often associated with victim and offender reconciliation programs. A number of papers examine such programs in various countries. The family group conference approach that is now universal in New Zealand is also profiled.
Hadley, Michael L. The Spiritual Roots of Restorative Justice (State University of New York Press, 2001)
This interdisciplinary study explores what major spiritual traditions say in text, tradition, and current practice about criminal justice in general and Restorative Justice in particular. It reflects the close collaboration of scholars and professionals engaged in multifaith reflection on the theory and practice of criminal law. A variety of traditions are explored: Aboriginal spirituality, Buddhism, Chinese religions, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, and Sikhism. Drawing on a wide range of literature and experience in the field of Restorative Justice and recognizing the ongoing interdisciplinary research into the complex relationships between religion and violence, the contributors clarify how faith-based principles of reconciliation, restoration, and healing might be implemented in pluralistic multicultural societies.
Michael L. Hadley is a Professor of Germanic Studies and a Fellow at the Centre for Studies in Religion and Society at the University of Victoria, Canada. He has published several books, including God's Little Ships: A History of the Columbia Coast Mission.
Howley, Pat. Breaking Spears and Mending Hearts: Peacemakers and Restorative Justice in Bougainville (Zed Books, 2003)
The civil war in Bougainville lasted from 1990-2001. This is the story of the aftermath of the civil war. Using oral evidence it tells the story through the eyes of the people--the victims, the freedom fighters, the women who took a leading part in the peace process. The author provides some perspective on the threatened loss of culture and identity caused by the war and on the residue of trauma left by terrible violence and human rights atrocities.
Jones, Tricia S. and Randy Compton. Kids Working It Out – Stories and Strategies for Making Peace in Our Schools (Jossey-Bass, 2003)
Kids who understand how to manage conflict successfully can transform their schools into safer and kinder places to learn. Kids Working It Out offers educators and parents a guide to the most current and effective school-based conflict resolution programs and shows how these programs can make a positive difference in our schools. Throughout the book, students and teachers share their stories of what it's really like in today's schools and reveal how Conflict Resolution Education, has shaped their experiences. Kids Working It Out covers a wide range of topics-- curriculum integration, peer mediation, restorative justice, and others-- and shows what it takes to implement an effective program in any school, and any community.
Maynard, Nathan and Brad Weinstein. Hacking School Discipline: 9 Ways to Create a Culture of Empathy and Responsibility Using Restorative Justice (Times 10 Publications, 2019). Eliminate old-school punishments and create a community of responsible, productive learners
Are you or your teachers frustrated with carrots and sticks, detention rooms, and suspension--antiquated school discipline practices that simply do not work with the students entering our classrooms today? Our kids have complex needs, and we must empower and embrace them with restorative practices that not only change behaviors but transform students into productive citizens, accountable for their own actions.
Replace traditional school discipline with a proven system, founded on restorative justice
In a book that should become your new blueprint for school discipline, teachers, presenters, and school leaders Nathan Maynard and Brad Weinstein demonstrate how to eliminate punishment and build a culture of responsible students and independent learners. In Hack Learning Series Book 22, you learn to:
- Reduce repeated negative behaviors
- Build student self-regulation and empathy
- Enhance communication and collaboration
- Identify the true cause of negative behaviors
- Use restorative circles to reflect on behaviors and discuss impactful change
"Maynard and Weinstein provide practical tips and strategies in the context of real-world examples, guided by the imperatives of changing the behavior and preserving the relationship. An important read for teachers and administrators." -Danny Steele, award-winning principal and co-author of Essential Truths for Principals and Essential Truths for Teachers
Before you suspend another student ...
read Hacking School Discipline, and build a school environment that promotes responsible learners, who never need to be punished. Then watch learning soar, teachers smile, and your entire community rejoice.
Mindell, Arnold. The Deep Democracy of Open Forums (Hampton Roads Publishing, 2002)
Most of us are terrified of conflict, says Arnold Mindell, PhD, author of fifteen books and internationally recognized for his innovative synthesis of Jungian therapy, dreams, and bodywork. But we needn't be. His burning passion is to create groups and organizations where everyone looks forward to group processes instead of fearing them. He calls this the deep democracy of open forums, where all voices, thoughts, and feelings are aired freely, especially the ones nobody wants to hear.
Since 1992, one of Mindell's prime interests has been the bringing of deeper awareness to group conflicts. Conflict work without reference to altered states of consciousness is like a flu shot for someone in a manic or depressed state of consciousness. Most group and social problems cannot be well facilitated or resolved without access to the dreamlike and mystical atmosphere in the background. The key is becoming aware of it.
Mindell introduces a new paradigm for working in groups, from 3 to 3,000, based on awareness of the flow of signals and events. You can take the subtlest of signals indicating the onset of emotions such as fear, anger, hopelessness, and other altered states, and use them to transform seemingly impossible problems into uplifting community experiences.
As Mindell explains, "I share how everyone--people in schools and organizations, communities and governments--can use inner experiences, dreaming, and mysticism, in conjunction with real methods of conflict management, to produce lively, more sustainable, conscious communities."
Mindell, Arnold. Sitting in the Fire (Deep Democracy Exchange, 2014)
Arnold Mindell, Ph.D., shows how working with power, rank, revenge and abuse helps build sustainable communities. Mindell is the co-founder of processwork and author of numerous books, including Quantum Mind, The Deep Democracy of Open Forums and The Leader as Martial Artist. He has appeared on national radio and television and works internationally with multi-racial and highly conflicted groups.
Using examples ranging from disputes in small organizations to large-scale conflicts in countries around the world, this volume offers practical methods for working with conflict, leadership crises, stagnation, abuse, terrorism, violence, and other social action issues. It brings an understanding of the psychology of conflict and the knowledge that many disputes can be traced back to inequalities of rank and power between parties, providing tools that will enable people to use conflict to build community.
Perry, John G. Repairing Communities Through Restorative Justice (American Correctional Association, 2002)
Restorative justice is a relatively new concept in corrections. Repairing Communities examines how restorative justice can be used to rehabilitate offenders as opposed to simply punishing them. This book's contributors examine the benefits of restorative justice to the offender, the victim, and corrections. Topics discussed include: Moral and Philosophical Foundations of Restorative Justice, Community is Not a Place, Linking Crime Prevention to Restorative Justice, Practical Concerns, Building Peace, the VORP Approach, and Community Justice Sanctioning Models. This book includes the vocabulary of restorative justice and real-life examples which demonstrate the principles examined.
Robbins, Zachary Scott. Restorative Justice Tribunal (Routledge, 2021). Learn a restorative justice approach that works. This book gives readers the tools to reduce suspension and expulsion rates without compromising school safety, classroom order, or instructional time. Through a compelling narrative, this book shares an approach that extends beyond improving relationships as the way to reduce exclusionary consequences for students. Restorative Justice Tribunal shows readers how to implement restorative practices that enable high academic outcomes for students, increase inclusion, and respect diversity in schools.
Author Dr. Zachary Scott Robbins, who has turned around schools in Boston, Massachusetts, and Las Vegas, Nevada, explores the assumptions underpinning school policies that lead to disproportionate suspensions and expulsions, especially for African-American students. He shares his experiences using Restorative Justice Tribunals and Restorative Justice Circles, which balance serving consequences to students who misbehave and providing them with therapeutic wraparound supports.
This powerful book provides educators with positive classroom management strategies. Learn how to avoid discrimination based on race, national origin, or disability; improve school climate; and spend less time disciplining students and more time helping students achieve academic excellence.
Russell, Bertrand. Power: A New Social Analysis (Routledge, 2004)
The key to human nature that Marx found in wealth and Freud in sex, Bertrand Russell finds in power. Power, he argues, is man's ultimate goal, and is, in its many guises, the single most important element in the development of any society. Writting in the late 1930s when Europe was being torn apart by extremist ideologies and the world was on the brink of war, Russell set out to found a 'new science' to make sense of the traumatic events of the day and explain those that would follow.
The result was Power, a remarkable book that Russell regarded as one of the most important of his long career. Countering the totalitarian desire to dominate, Russell shows how political enlightenment and human understanding can lead to peace - his book is a passionate call for independence of mind and a celebration of the instinctive joy of human life.
Smith, Douglas, Douglas Fisher and Nancy Frey. Better Than Carrots or Sticks: Restorative Practices for Positive Classroom Management (ASCD, 2015)
Classroom management is traditionally a matter of encouraging good behavior and discouraging bad by doling out rewards and punishments. But studies show that when educators empower students to address and correct misbehavior among themselves, positive results are longer lasting and more wide reaching. In Better Than Carrots or Sticks, longtime educators and best-selling authors Dominique Smith, Douglas Fisher, and Nancy Frey provide a practical blueprint for creating a cooperative and respectful classroom climate in which students and teachers work through behavioral issues together. After a comprehensive overview of the roots of the restorative practices movement in schools, the authors explain how to:
- Establish procedures and expectations for student behavior that encourage the development of positive interpersonal skills;
- Develop a non-confrontational rapport with even the most challenging students; and
- Implement conflict-resolution strategies that prioritize relationship building and mutual understanding over finger-pointing and retribution.
Rewards and punishments may help to maintain order in the short term, but they're at best superficially effective and at worst counterproductive. This book will prepare teachers at all levels to ensure that their classrooms are welcoming, enriching, and constructive environments built on collective respect and focused on student achievement.
Stutzman Amstutz, Lorraine and Judy H. Mullet. The Little Book of Restorative Discipline for Schools: Teaching Responsibility; Creating Caring Climates (The Little Books of Justice and Peacebuilding) (Good Books, 2005)
How can teachers and administrators better deal with discipline, punishment, bullying, truancy, and other issues? Can community-building begin in a classroom?
The authors of this book believe that by applying restorative justice at school, we can build a healthier and more just society. With practical applications and models.
Can an overworked teacher possibly turn an unruly incident with students into an "opportunity for learning, growth, and community-building"? If restorative justice has been able to salvage lives within the world of criminal behavior, why shouldn't its principles be applied in school classrooms and cafeterias? And if our children learn restorative practices early and daily, won't we be building a healthier, more just society? Topics include:
- Why restorative justice
- The role of discipline and punishment
- Characteristics of peaceable schools
- Flexible policies
- Whole school training approaches
- Class meetings
- Truancy mediation
- And more!
Two educators answer yes, yes, and yes in this new addition to The Little Books of Justice and Peacebuilding series. Amstutz and Mullet offer applications and models. "Discipline that restores is a process to make things as right as possible." This Little Book shows how to get there.
(to order contact the new publisher directly: Kathryn Mennone)
Sullivan, Dennis. The Handbook of Restorative Justice: A Global Perspective (Routledge, 2006)
Handbook of Restorative Justice is a collection of original, cutting-edge essays that offer an insightful and critical assessment of the theory, principles and practices of restorative justice around the globe. This much-awaited volume is a response to the cry of students, scholars and practitioners of restorative justice, for a comprehensive resource about a practice that is radically transforming the way the human community responds to loss, trauma and harm.
Its diverse essays not only explore the various methods of responding nonviolently to harms-done by persons, groups, global corporations and nation-states, but also examine the dimensions of restorative justice in relation to criminology, victimology, traumatology and feminist studies. In addition. They contain prescriptions for how communities might re-structure their family, school and workplace life according to restorative values.
This Handbook is an essential tool for every serious student of criminal, social and restorative justice.
Zehr, Howard and Barb Toews. Critical Issues in Restorative Justice (Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2004)
In a mere quarter-century, restorative justice has grown from a few scattered experimental projects into a worldwide social movement. Moving beyond its origins within the criminal justice arena, restorative justice is now being applied in schools, homes and the workplace.
The restorative justice approach challenges the idea that state punishment is the best method of achieving justice. This "restorative" alternative strives to directly address the needs of all persons affected by a crime or a harm, often by bringing together victims, offenders and community members in some form of structured mediation or dialogue.
The distinguished contributors to this book are all long-term advocates and practitioners of restorative justice from North America, Europe, Australia/New Zealand and South Africa. The 31 chapters confront the key threats to the integrity and effectiveness of the emerging international restorative justice movement: (1) cooptation or diversion from its core mission, and the possibility that reforms may cause unintended consequences; (2) being relegated primarily to "minor" crimes or conflicts, so that it has minimal impact on the overall system or justice; and (3) inherent flaws that undermine its effectiveness, such as failure to address social problems that breed conflicts, and methods skewed by cultural or gender biases.
Zehr, Howard. Doing Life: Reflections of Men and Women Serving Life Sentences (Good Books, 1996)
What does it mean to face a life prison sentence? What have "lifers" learned about life—from having taken a life? Photographer Howard Zehr has interviewed and made portraits of men and women in Pennsylvania prisons who are serving life sentences without possibility of parole. Readers see the prisoners as people, de-mystified.
Brief text accompanies each portrait, the voice of each prisoner speaking openly about the crime each has committed, the utter violation of another person each has caused. They speak of loneliness, missing their children growing up, dealing with the vacuum, caught between death and life. A timely book.
Here Zehr proposes workable principles and practices for making Restorative Justice possible in this revised and updated edition of his bestselling, seminal book on the movement.
Restorative Justice, with its emphasis on identifying the justice needs of everyone involved in a crime, is a worldwide movement of growing influence that is helping victims and communities heal, while holding criminals accountable for their actions.
This is not soft-on-crime, feel-good philosophy, but rather a concrete effort to bring justice and healing to everyone involved in a crime. In The Little Book of Restorative Justice, Zehr first explores how restorative justice is different from criminal justice. Then, before letting those appealing observations drift out of reach into theoretical space, Zehr presents Restorative Justice practices. Zehr undertakes a massive and complex subject and puts it in graspable from, without reducing or trivializing it. Topics include:
- Three pillars of restorative justice
- The “who” and the “how” are important
- The goals of restorative justice
- Core approaches often involve an encounter
- And much more!
This resource is also suitable for academic classes and workshops, for conferences and trainings, as well as for the layperson interested in understanding this innovative and influential movement.