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 »

The story is true

& Peacebuilding, Photography, Restorative Justice.

“Stories are the way we domesticate the world’s disorder.” (Bruce Jackson, The Story is True) My last entry emphasized the importance of story.  Since stories are essential to the experience of victims and offenders – and to all of us – I want to explore this topic a bit further here. Our histories, our identities,… Read more »

Crossing the divide

& Peacebuilding, Restorative Justice.

In a recent blog entry, a conservative blogger in the United Kingdom calls for more attention to restorative justice. Citing a speech by conservative MP Alan Duncan, the blogger suggests that restorative justice may be more than a way to reduce the revolving door or “carousel” of prison; indeed, it could have substantial benefits for… Read more »

Decolonizing research and photography

& Peacebuilding, Photography, Restorative Justice.

“From the vantage point of the colonized, a position from which I write, and choose to privilege, the term “research” is inextricably linked to European imperialism and colonialism.  The word itself, ‘research,’ is probably one of the dirtiest words in the indigenous world’s vocabulary.  When mentioned in many indigenous contexts, it stirs up silence, it… Read more »

Social work and restorative justice

& Peacebuilding, Restorative Justice.

Social Work and Restorative Justice:  Skills for Dialogue, Peacemaking and Reconciliation, edited by Elizabeth Beck, Nancy P. Kropf and Pamela Blume-Leonard (Oxford University Press, 2011), is an important collection of essays on this subject. It will be of interest to both social work and restorative justice practitioners.  The following is the Afterword that Lorraine Stutzman… Read more »