Restoring Justice : An Introduction to Restorative Justice book cover
6th Edition

Restoring Justice
An Introduction to Restorative Justice

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after May 3, 2022
ISBN 9780367740795
May 3, 2022 Forthcoming by Routledge
272 Pages 5 Color Illustrations

USD $62.95

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Book Description

Restoring Justice: An Introduction to Restorative Justice, Sixth Edition, offers a clear and convincing explanation of restorative justice, a movement within criminal justice with ongoing worldwide influence. Restorative justice emphasizes repairing the harm caused or revealed by criminal behavior using cooperative processes that include all the stakeholders. The book presents the theory and principles of restorative justice, and discusses four cornerpost values: inclusion, encounter, repair, and cohesion, and strategies for implementation.

Table of Contents

Part 1. The Concept of Restorative Justice

Chapter 1. How Patterns of Thinking Can Obstruct Justice

Key Concepts

Patterns of Thinking

An Ancient Pattern: Justice is Relational

A Brief History Lesson

The People Who Are Harmed

Private and Public Prosecution



Current Pattern of Thinking: Justice is Impartial and Impersonal

Mass Incarceration

War on Drugs and Its Consequences

Consider an Alternative


Review Questions


Chapter 2. The Development of a New Pattern of Thinking

Key Concepts

The Term Restorative Justice

Attempts to Reform Contemporary Criminal Justice

A Response to Crime That Meets the Needs of People Harmed

Reform efforts focused on increasing access to services

Reform efforts focused on ensuring restitution or compensation

Reform efforts focused on procedural rights

A Response to Crime that Includes the Community

A Response to Crime that Reduces Incarceration

Indigenous Justice Approaches

Early Explorers of Restorative Justice Theory


Review Questions


Chapter 3. Justice That Promotes Healing

Key Concepts

Three Conceptions of Restorative Justice: Encounter, Reparative, and Transformative

Restorative Justice Definitions

Our Definition

Restorative Justice Principles

Principle 1 Justice Heals

Principle 2 Justice Includes

Principle 3 Justice Shares

Restorative Justice: A Visual Model

Restorative Justice Values





Restorative Practices and Restorative Justice

Restorative Justice as Opposed to What?

Does Restorative Justice Work?

Outcomes for Those Causing Harm

Outcomes for Those Harmed

System Outcomes


Review Questions


Part 2.The Cornerposts of Restorative Justice

Chapter 4. Inclusion

Key Concepts

Restorative Justice and Inclusion

Increasing Opportunities for the Parties to Speak in Contemporary Criminal Justice

Allowing Those Harmed by Crime to Speak

Allowing Those Who Caused Harm to Speak

Giving the Person Harmed Legal Standing to Pursue Reparation

Participation of the People Harmed at Various Stages of Criminal Proceedings

Charging the Defendant and Plea Bargaining



The Person Harmed as Civil Claimant in Criminal Cases


Review Questions


Chapter 5. Encounter

Key Concepts

Restorative Processes

Elements of Restorative Encounters

Risks for Encounter Participants

Power Dynamics

Due Process Violations



Program Policies

Facilitator Training

A Safe Environment

Empowering Participants and Repairing Harm

Truth telling

Responsibility and Vindication

Opportunity to Apologize

Addressing Trauma

Connection vs. Disconnection


Review Questions


Chapter 6. Repair

Key Concepts

Needs of People Who Have Been Harmed by Crime

To Be Safe


Relief from Stigma

Practical Support

Trauma-Informed Support and Assistance




Changed Behavior

Active vs. Passive Responsibility


What About Harm to Society?

Who Should Receive Restitution?

What About Community Service?

Should Restitution Reflect the Seriousness of the Offense or of the Injury?

Generosity as a Form of Amends


Poverty, Fees, Fines, and Restitution

Day Fines


Review Questions


Chapter 7. Cohesion

Key Concepts



Showing Respect for People Returning from Prison

Families and Friends

Circles of Support and Accountability

Alcoholics Anonymous and Other Assistance Groups

Faith Communities



Trauma-Informed Community Building


Review Questions


Part 3. The Challenges Facing Restorative Justice

Chapter 8. Toward a Restorative System

Key Concepts

Five System Models Incorporating Restorative Justice

Augmentation Model

Safety Net Model

Dual Track Model

Hybrid Model

Unitary Model

Restorative Justice in Contemporary Criminal Justice Proceedings

Before Responsibility Has Been Determined

Determination of Responsibility



Probation and Parole


Considering the "Restorativeness" of a System or Program







Review Questions


Chapter 9. Shifting to a Restorative Paradigm

Key Concepts

Six Strategic Objectives to Expand the Use of Restorative Justice

1. Make Restorative Justice Processes the Default Option, Even in Serious Cases

2. Develop a Reparative System as Back-up When More Restorative Measures are Not Options

3. Develop a Parallel System That Meets the Needs of Persons Harmed

4. Make the Incarceration Experience More Restorative

5. Incentivize Investments That Support Social Cohesion Within Communities

6. Create a Model Restorative Justice Legal Framework

Addressing Potential Shortcomings Within a Restorative System

Mechanisms That Respect Rule of Law and Protect Fundamental Rights

Accountability to Ensure Justice Mechanisms Function as Intended

Making Restorative Justice Happen

Common Agenda

Shared Measurement System

Mutually Reinforcing Activities

Continuous Communication

Backbone Support Organization

Attention to Equity

Keeping Communities Central in Collaborative Initiatives

Trauma-Informed Collaborations


Review Questions


Chapter 10. Transformation

Key Concepts

Transformation of Perspective

Transformation of Structures

Transformation of Persons

Review Questions



Appendix 1 RJ City® Case Study

Appendix 2 Restorative Justice Programs Across the Globe

Select Bibliography

View More



Daniel W. Van Ness has explored and promoted restorative justice as public policy advocate, program designer, writer, and teacher for 35 years. He received the John W. Byrd Pioneer Award for Community and Restorative Justice from The National Association of Community and Restorative Justice in 2013.

Karen Heetderks Strong has worked on restorative justice theory and principles since the late 1980s. She spent 22 years in an American non-profit serving prisoners, ex-prisoners, crime victims, and their families and supporting advocacy for reforms in the state and federal criminal justice systems.

Jonathan Derby has worked more than 16 years with non-profit organizations in India that help the most vulnerable access justice. Currently, he serves as Special Advisor on Restorative Justice with Prison Fellowship International and teaches restorative justice as adjunct professor at Straus Institute of Dispute Resolution, Pepperdine Caruso School of Law.

L. Lynette Parker is a consultant providing restorative practice training and guidance having provided services to organizations in 17 countries. As a restorative conferencing facilitator, she has guided victims, offenders, and community members through restorative processes in over 70 criminal cases ranging from shoplifting to reckless driving resulting in death.


"Restoring Justice has been very instrumental in helping me achieve the goal of bringing a thorough understanding of the subject to my students in language that is clear, simple and concise."

Vivian Aseye Djokotoe Ph.D, Professor and Division Chair of Criminal Justice Sciences, Director of Western Restorative Justice and Reentry Center, Western Oregon University

"I wanted a textbook that would help the students understand how restorative justice practices help to repair the harms of both victims and offenders, and how both are reintegrated into the community. This is especially important and useful when I use the textbook in the correctional facility. After reading the textbook, students understand how their actions affect other people and they learn to take responsibility for those actions."

Linda Keena, Associate Professor of Criminal Justice and Legal Studies, Legal Studies Program Coordinator, University of Mississippi

"I like the accessibility of the text--perfect for the introduction of issues to undergraduate students. I also think it frames the concepts of restorative justice in a unique way that other "intro to RJ" texts do not….The authors are careful with their choice of words and citations, so it is also a trusted source for me as a professor." 

Emily Gaarder, Director of the Center for Restorative Justice and Peacemaking and Associate Professor in Studies in Justice, Culture, and Social Change, University of Minnesota Duluth.

"When I developed my own Restorative Justice course more than 20 years ago, I adopted the book as my main text. Its comprehensiveness and clarity drew me: it provided me with a great foundation in restorative justice theory and practice, so I knew it would be valuable for my students as well. Its usefulness for framing restorative justice is unsurpassed." 

Lois Presser, Professor of Sociology, University of Tennessee

Endorsements of Previous Editions of Restoring Justice:

"As a crime victim, victim advocate, and long-time supporter of restorative justice values and principals, I found Restoring Justice to be an excellent resource for anyone interested in the complex world of restorative justice history, processes, and ideas. Bravo to Dan Van Ness and Karen Strong for offering a balanced approach to restorative justice that understands "real" justice is about repairing the harm and healing those who have been harmed by crime: victims, offenders, and communities. Restoring Justice is a well-written and quite often inspirational book!"

Ellen Halbert, Director, Victim/Witness Division, Travis County District Attorney’s Office, Austin, Texas

"At each edition of Restoring Justice, Daniel Van Ness and Karen Heetderks Strong set the standard and make their volume one of the basic books—or perhaps the basic book—on restorative justice.

Their book reflects the richness of the restorative justice approach, through process analyses with clinical relevance, theoretical thinking with social ethical and social significance, principled exploration on juridical options, and a broad sociological context analysis. Van Ness and Heetderks Strong colour this broad interdisciplinary picture with their own visions and options. In doing so, they deliver a crucial contribution to understanding restorative justice principles and their proper implementation.

Restoring Justice is the result of intensive commitment to the values of restorative justice, balanced with a constructive critical mind for possible problematic implementations, and openness for unanswered questions and unresolved difficulties. It is a landmark in the restorative justice literature."

Lode Walgrave, Emeritus Professor of Criminology, Faculty of Law, Catholic University of Leuven

"Restoring Justice is the best, most thorough text on the most important development in the justice system in the last decade: restorative justice.… a seminal work.… this book does a wonderful job of describing the rationale, presenting the arguments, confronting the criticisms.… provides a measured, reliable statement on our need to restore justice."

Todd Clear, University Professor of Criminal Justice, Rutgers University School of Criminal Justice

"… a great introductory overview of restorative justice … easily understood while also providing significant depth.… draws together the significant insights in the field while making several new contributions… invites and encourages change without alienating people who are currently working in the field. I recommend Restoring Justice for both the novice and the seasoned restorative justice reader."

Ron Claassen, Co-owner, Restorative Justice Discipline, Fresno and former Director of the Center for Peacemaking and Conflict Studies, Fresno Pacific University

"… an exceptionally good job of clearly articulating the underlying principles and values of restorative justice, including many practical examples. This book will serve as a primary resource for scholars and practitioners involved in the restorative justice movement as it continues to expand."

Mark Umbreit, Professor and founding Director of the Center for Restorative Justice & Peacemaking, School of Social Work, University of Minnesota

"[In Restoring Justice, Dan Van Ness and Karen Strong] challenge researchers and scholars to move beyond measuring only recidivism as the ultimate outcome of evaluation, and victim and offender satisfaction as the primary intermediate measures. Based on this work, we may now instead build upon core principles to develop dimensions and measures of process integrity, as well as theoretical dimensions to assess intermediate outcomes for victim, offender, and community."

The late Gordon Bazemore, former Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice Florida Atlantic University