Howard Zehr and Barb Toews MA ‘00 publish ‘Still Doing Life: 22 Lifers, 25 Years Later’

Howard Zehr, distinguished professor of restorative justice at Eastern Mennonite University, and co-author Barb Toews MA ‘00 will talk about their book “Still Doing Life: 22 Lifers, 25 Years Later” in a webinar hosted by the Zehr Institute of Restorative Justice.

The free event will be Wednesday, March 16, from 12-1:30 p.m. EST. The book, with a release date of March 15, is published by The New Press. All webinars will be livestreamed on the Zehr Institute Facebook page and on CJP’s Twitter account.

A recording of the webinar will also be available after the event at the organization’s website.

The authors are also participating in an online event in Washington state, where Toews is professor of criminal justice at University of Washington. On Monday, March 21, at 6 p.m., the co-authors are featured guests on Town Hall Seattle. They will discuss the implications of the American criminal justice system and the consequences of life sentences. ADDED 4/19: LINK TO Town Hall Seattle WEBINAR.

Here’s for another event the authors participated in, hosted by the Pennsylvania Office of Victim Advocate.

In 1996, Zehr published Doing Life (Good Books), with portraits of individuals serving life sentences without the possibility of parole at a prison in Pennsylvania. Twenty-five years later, Zehr revisited many of the same individuals and photographed them in the same poses. 

The book presents the two photos of each individual side by side, along with interviews conducted at the two different photo sessions.

Read a review from The Library Journal.

Zehr has published other similarly formatted books offering intimate perspectives on people harmed by violence.

In 2001, Transcending: Reflections of Crime Victims (Good Books) featured portraits and stories of 39 victims of violent crime. Many of these people were twice-wounded: once at the hands of an assailant; the second time by the courts, where there is no legal provision for a victim’s participation. 

“My hope,” says Zehr, “is that this book might hand down a rope to others who have experienced such tragedies and traumas, and that it might allow all who read it to live on the healing edge.”

Read a 2011 Peacebuilder article on Zehr’s book “What Will Happen to Me?” featuring photos of 30 children whose parents are incarcerated, along with the children’s thoughts, plus some reflections by their caregivers. Lorraine Stutzman Amstutz is the co-author.

Join the Discussion on “Howard Zehr and Barb Toews MA ‘00 publish ‘Still Doing Life: 22 Lifers, 25 Years Later’

  1. see: john taglianetti, phd dissertation on proquest. “Narratives of adjustment and adaptation of men serving life sentences”. Jan 2022

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