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Critical Issues in Restorative Justice Paperback – June 1, 2004

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 435 pages
  • Publisher: Criminal Justice Press (June 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1881798518
  • ISBN-13: 978-1881798514
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #606,219 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"...a book to be savored. Each chapter provides a thoughtful and thought-provoking glimpse into critical challenges facing restorative justice." -- Daniel W. Van Ness, Prison Fellowship International

" excellent resource... manages to capture the essence of the many contested areas within RJ (restorative justice." -- Anna M. Eriksson, British Journal of Criminology

"All who are interested, who seek understanding of...restorative justice, must read and own this book. Get it now." -- Dan Okada, Critical Criminology, vol. 13, #2

"a book to be savored. Each chapter provides a thoughtful and thought-provoking glimpse into critical challenges facing restorative justice." -- Daniel Van Ness, Director, PFI Center for Justice and Reconciliation

"raises the most important questions in restorative justice today...assembles an impressive array of scholars and practitioners to answer them." -- Prof. David Karp, Skidmore College

About the Author

Howard Zehr is one of the founders of the restorative justice field, having directed the first victim offender reconciliation program (VORP) in the U.S. He is a Professor of Restorative Justice and co-director of the graduate Conflict Transformation Program at Eastern Mennonite University (EMU) in Virginia. He is the author of the classic book "Changing Lenses: A New Focus for Crime and Justice," and editor of "The Little Books of Justice and Peacebuilding" series.

Barb Toews is a restorative justice practitioner, trainer and mediator, who was the founding director of a VORP in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. She currently facilitates restorative justice programs in prisons through the Pennsylvania Prison Society, and she holds a masters degree in Conflict Transformation from EMU.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Hande Z on July 17, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Conventional punishment is based mainly on the principle of retribution and deterrence. A great deal of it is still hinged on the age old doctrine of lex talionis, an eye for an eye. Most, if not all, judicial punishment has followed this path which seems to serve its purpose well in spite of many troubling defects. Judicial punishment satisfies the victim's desire for revenge, it provides a relatively effective deterrence against crime, and it demarcates reasonably clearly the line between good and evil. So what is restorative justice and why should we fix a system that is not broke?

Restorative justice is a theory that offers an alternative to judicial punishment. In large, it is a sentencing alternative that has its aims at restoring both the victim and the offender at minimal social and economic costs. "Critical Issues in Restorative Justice" (CIRJ) claims that restorative justice has made great inroads in the past 15 years (the book was published in 2004). It still commands a large following - see the more recent (2007) book "Restorative Justice" by Marian Liebmann).

Restorative justice enables families and the community of the offender and victim to be involved in the process of restoring the victim from the effect of the crime, and the rehabilitation of the offender. It utilizes mediation, compensation, and shaming of the offender among other methods in the process of restoration of justice to the parties involved. CIRJ answers some of the criticisms against the theory and method. It answers charges that the victim might be "short changed" and the dangers (such as the totalitarian threat) of reliance on the community.
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