What are your “core texts” for restorative justice?

Changing Lenses:  A New Focus for Crime and Justice, initially published in 1990, is often viewed as a foundational work in the restorative justice field.   It has gone through several editions, and now the publishers plan to release an “anniversary edition” next year, the 25th year since its first release.

I need your help.  I would like to include a bibliography of essential reading, developed from suggestions by people in the field.

What are your favorite texts?  What reading do you consider essential to understand the concept and practice of restorative justice? You can add your suggestions as comments below or, if you prefer, email them to me.

Thanks for your help!


3 comments on “What are your “core texts” for restorative justice?”

  1. Jeannette Holtham says:

    Dr. Zehr,
    I would be grateful if you would include my book “Taking Restorative Justice to Schools: A Doorway to Discipline” (2009) in the bibliography of your anniversary edition. It was “Changing Lenses” that inspired me to get into the RJ work that I do, and your review of my book has been a godsend to its global distribution; and I am pleased to know that six American universities are now using my book as texts for their students. The two books I insist on having my students (most often educators) read immediately are “The Little Book of Restorative Justice” and “The Little Book of Restorative Discipline for Schools.”

    Our Website: http://www.youthtransformationcenter.org (I’ve added this here because the blog did not seem to allow that entry)
    Warm wishes,

  2. Ted Lewis says:

    Thanks, Howard.

    Most of my RJ reading recommendations will already be on your radar. For the sake of your blog readers I’ll use this space to simply highlight David Cayley’s The Expanding Prison, a book you first told me about. The reason I see this as a strong text is that it effectively combines 1) a convincing critique of the hard-on-crime perspective, 2) lots of great case narrative content, and 3) examples of how justice workers within the system can embrace restorative alternatives. For our stage of restorative justice progress in North America, I see this as an important book that more folks need to read.

    When you pull book and article titles together, it may be helpful to distinguish a) books about RJ foundations, concepts and models, and b) books that specifically help practitioners and program coordinators to do restorative work. The former area certainly has the lion’s share of what is out there; the latter area also has plenty available, but in shorter formats, often in conjunction with training resources. My hope is that more substantial writings in the latter area will surface soon and become useful to the movement.

    Finally, current trends of broadening the restorative paradigm beyond the criminal justice realm and also into international peacemaking practices is exciting, but this appears to complexify new efforts to create bibliographies. One thing I appreciate about Mark Umbreit’s writings is that from early on he saw how restorative dialogue would include all models of conflict resolution and larger-scale peacemaking.

    Ted Lewis

  3. Marissa Wertheimer says:

    On NPR last week Terri Gross interview Nell Bernstein who just published “Burning Down the House” advocating for the end of juvenile incarceration. Also, my colleague Sherry McCreedy has collected an extensive (and extraordinary in it’s breadth) bibliography of RJ resources on her website: http://sherrymccreedy.weebly.com/resources.html

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