6th Edition

Restoring Justice An Introduction to Restorative Justice

    240 Pages 5 Color Illustrations
    by Routledge

    240 Pages 5 Color Illustrations
    by Routledge

    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. The book explores the broad appeal of this vision and offers a brief history of its roots and development as an alternative to an impersonal justice system focused narrowly on the conviction and punishment of those who break the law. Instead, 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 its four cornerpost ideas: Inclusion, Encounter, Repair, and Cohesion. Multiple models for how restorative justice may be incorporated into criminal justice are explored, and the book proposes an approach to assessing the extent to which programs or systems are actually restorative in practice. The authors also suggest six strategic objectives to significantly expand the use and reach of restorative justice and recommended tactics to make progress towards the acceptance and adoption of restorative programs and systems.

    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


    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