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Critical Issues in Restorative Justice

Howard Zehr and Barb Toews, editors
Critical Issues in Restorative Justice
ISBN: 978-1-881798-51-4
ISBN: 978-1-62637-511-6
2004/417 pages
A CriminalJusticePress Project
"This book manages to capture the essence of the many contested areas within restorative justice.... Not only an excellent resource for students of the topic—it is also a little goldmine for researchers looking for new ideas."—Anna M. Eriksson, British Journal of Criminology

"All who are interested, from the novice to the true believer, who seek understanding and a road map to unraveling the mysteries, nuances, and perspective of restorative justice must read and own this book. Get it now."—Dan Okada, Critical Criminology


In a mere quarter-century, restorative justice has grown from a few scattered experimental projects into a worldwide social movement and field of study. The contributors to this book critically examine restorative justice, identifying the main threats to its integrity and effectiveness. The ground that they cover ranges from victim, offender, and practitioner issues, to the role of the state, to broad questions of social justice.


Howard Zehr is professor of restorative justice at Eastern Mennonite University. Barb Toews is a restorative justice practitioner, trainer, and mediator.


  • Opening the Dialogue.
  • How, and in What Terms, Should Restorative Justice Be Conceived?—G. Johnstone.
  • How Large Should the Restorative Justice "Tent" Be?—S. Sharpe.
  • By Whom, and By What Processes, Is Restorative Justice Defined, and What Bias Might this Introduce?—V. Napoleon.
  • Has Restorative Justice Appropriately Responded to Retribution Theory and Impulses?—L. Walgrave.
  • Will Restorative Justice Live Up to Its Promise to Victims?—M. Achilles.
  • Is Restorative Justice Possible Without a Parallel System for Victims?—S. Herman.
  • What Is the Relationship Between Victim Service Organizations and Restorative Justice?—L. Stutzman Amstutz.
  • Is Restorative Justice Imposing Its Agenda on Victims?—H. Strang.
  • Have Offender Needs and Perspectives Been Adequately Incorporated into Restorative Justice?—B. Toews and J. Katounas.
  • What Is the Appropriate Relationship Between Restorative Justice and Treatment?—G. Bazemore and D. Bell.
  • What Is the Place of Shame in Restorative Justice?—G. Maxwell and A. Morris.
  • What Is the Place of Punishment and Imprisonment in Restorative Justice?—R. Immarigeon.
  • What Is the Role of Community in Restorative Justice Theory and Practice?—P. McCold.
  • What Are the Dangers and the Promise of Community Involvement?—G. Pavlich.
  • What Is the Role of the State in Restorative Justice Programs?—V. Jantzi.
  • How Does Restorative Justice Address Human Rights and Due Process Issues?—A. Skelton and C. Frank.
  • What Are the Implications of the Growing State Involvement in Restorative Justice?—C. Boyes-Watson.
  • What Happens When Restorative Justice Is Encouraged, Enabled, and/or Guided by Legislation?—G. Masters.
  • Is Restorative Justice Tied to Specific Models of Practice?—A. Warner Roberts.
  • How Does the "Who, What, Where, and How" Affect the Practice of Restorative Justice?—Wonshe’.
  • How Does Restorative Justice Ensure Good Practice?—H. Bowen, J. Boyack, and C. Marshall.
  • Are We Practicing What We Preach?—D. Dyck.
  • What Is the Role of Professionals in Restorative Justice?—C. Erbe.
  • Is Restorative Justice Taking Too Few, or Too Many, Risks?—D. Gustafson.
  • How Do Culture, Class, and Gender Affect the Practice of Restorative Justice?—M. Jenkins; B. Raye.
  • What Are the Implications of Restorative Justice’s Use of Indigenous Traditions?—C. Cunneen.
  • What Is the State’s Role in Indigenous Justice Processes?—M. Hakiaha.
  • What Is the Appropriate Role of Spirituality in Restorative Justice?—M. Batley.
  • Does Restorative Justice Challenge Systemic Injustices?—B. Price Lofton.
  • What Are the Implications of Restorative Justice for Society and Our Lives?—D. Sullivan and L. Tifft.