2011

Good and bad victims?

& Restorative Justice.

Is a victim of crime who values restorative justice welcome in the restorative justice community only if s/he “works for” forgiveness? How is a victim of crime who believes in healing for both victim and offender, but continues to struggle with her/his understanding of justice, supported by restorative justice groups and associations?  Are victims invited… Read more »

A needle for the restorative justice compass

& Restorative Justice.

In my last blog post I summarized Dorothy Vaandering’s concern that without an understanding of the term “justice,” restorative justice may be a compass without a needle.  It is important not to lose the justice dimension in restorative approaches, she suggests, but we must not allow our understandings to be unduly limited by concepts such… Read more »

Is restorative justice a compass without a needle?

& Restorative Justice.

The field of restorative justice has been characterized by on-going discussions about how to define the term.  Some have argued that we should avoid definitions because of the rigidity they bring.  Others have claimed that ambiguity and uncertainty have led to confusion and bad practice. Many have advised that we drop the term “justice” entirely…. Read more »

Summer reading

& Peacebuilding, Restorative Justice.

As is obvious from the gap in my posts, I’ve been taking a break from my blog this sumer.  However, I will come out of hiding long enough to post a few recent resources. They aren’t the usual summer beach reading but maybe they will be of interest anyway. Our friends at Community Justice Initiatives… Read more »

Forget restorative justice

& Peacebuilding, Restorative Justice.

Guest Blog by Aaron Lyons “True justice emerges through conversation” – Howard Zehr “So, what are your thoughts on the killing of Osama Bin Laden?,” a woman inquires almost casually at a spring dinner party. Admittedly, the US military operation in Pakistan occupies the minds of many at this time – but surely this is… Read more »

Relationships matter

& Peacebuilding, Restorative Justice.

A recent conference on our campus entitled Conversations on Attachment included two prominent scholars working in neuroscience:  Dr. James Coan, a psychologist, and Dr. Daniel Siegel, a psychiatrist.  A few points from their presentations help explain why relationships are so important: Coan: “Our brains are designed to be with other people.”  The “baseline brain” is… Read more »

Restorative or transformative justice?

& Restorative Justice.

Is restorative justice sufficiently transformative?  Should the term be “transformative” rather than “restorative” justice?  Are they different phenomena or are they one and the same? This debate has been ongoing since the origin of the field.  When trying to decide on a term in the 1980s, I considered the word transformative but rejected it as… Read more »

Justice as restoration of trust

& Restorative Justice.

“Restorative justice is a bold and thought-provoking innovation that has engaged the energies and excited the hopes of criminal justice reformers throughout the world over the last several decades.  And yet, while it has achieved outstanding results in thousands of programs, it has remained a marginal development because it has failed to articulate a theory… Read more »

Death of a mentor

& Photography.

Milton Rogovin died this month at the age of 101.  Although I only met him once, through his photographs and writing he has been one of my mentors. 1998 photo by Howard Zehr As NPR noted in his obituary, Rogovin’s life was about seeing, though the methods changed.  He began his professional life helping others… Read more »