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Professor Zehr is an icon ins the field of Alternative Dispute Resolution and is the father of the Restorative Justice movement. His book, while small in stature, is chock full of theories, discourse, useful comparison tables/lists, and Zehr's thoughts on the fundamentals of a new (and much needed) approach to resolving "wrongs" in our society.
This book is one of the core materials I use in a masters level conflict resolution program and is always one of the most favored of the class.
Just to be clear, Prof Zehr doesn't provide the reader with a roadmap to Restorative Justice instead, he compares/contrasts the basic theories and procedures of the traditional justice system versus what he is proposing and allows the reader to fill in the structure.
This provides a quick primer (an our our two is all it takes) into restorative justice (1) as an alternative to our failed "retributive" justice system; (2) as a "how to guide" for applying restorative justice principles to everyday conflicts; (3) as background for restorative justice in the Judeo-Christian religion. (I am using it for an adult book discussion in our church, which is affiliated with the United Church of Christ.)
This little book is a great introduction to restorative justice ideas. I had heard of restorative justice but knew very little about it. Now that I’ve read this I feel like I know what people are talking about when they talk about restorative justice and have a framework to fit other justice-related ideas into.
This book is a great way to approach reaching justice. The principles of RJ can be used in all types of conflict and offense, from parenting, to school discipline, to adult conflict in the workplace and off course as an alternative to the traditional way of handling criminal offenses. I do wish their were some examples of the encounter conversations or discussion on how long these processes can take, but it would have been a much longer book then. This book does a good job at staying focused on explaining the foundations and guiding principles of RJ instead of Telling people how it should be practiced.
I do volunteer work for the MA and national Department of Peacebuilding Campaigns; Restorative Justice is one of the many peacebuilding programs we support. An ancient practice, it is now being used in schools, businesses, and in medical situations. State Senator James Eldridge has a Restorative Justice bill (SB 52) in the MA Legislature.
I am a 4th grade teacher and I intend to begin using restorative circles in my classroom. I’ve seen them done and believe them to be an effective strategy for community building. This book gave me a better understanding of what restorative justice is and why it’s effective.