Review: Civilising criminal justice: An international restorative justice agenda for penal reform
by Eric Assur
A diverse group of European and United Kingdom scholars have collaborated to produce a fine collection of eighteen chapters or articles regarding restorative justice in nations other than the United States. The book is international from cover to cover with an authorship reflecting far more of the world than North American readers may be familiar with. The editors are from the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. An Australian, himself a well-regarded leader in the Restorative Justice (R.J.) field, offers a thought provoking Forward. Most readers will probably agree that this international collection is a “fine start to a project of civilising criminal justice that will challenge our grandchildren.”
Review: The little book of restorative justice for colleges and universities
from the review by Duane Rohrbacher:
The purpose of The Little Book of Restorative Justice for Colleges and Universities is not to determine how to fit restorative justice (‘RJ’) practices into student conduct programming. The purpose of this book is to expose the reader to RJ practices, the theory behind RJ, and to offer examples of how institutions with different student populations have successfully implemented RJ programming into their student conduct scheme. The author offers three different types of RJ models: conferencing, circles, and boards. These are all explained in detail in separate chapters. The audience for this book is clearly student conduct administrators. A student conduct administrator, who is interested in exploring RJ principles, though, would only find the first six chapters useful.
Book review: Rights & Restoration within Youth Justice
From the review by Juhah Oudshoorn:
If policymakers have the objective of bettering justice responses for young people, then Theo Gavrielides‟ (2012) edited volume, Rights & Restoration within Youth Justice is a must read. It makes an important contribution to youth justice. 1) It bridges a growing divide between evidence-based research and practice; 2) It promotes a participatory framework for doing democracy that necessitates youth voice; 3) It allows for complex issues – serious crimes, like domestic violence – to be responded to in complex – imaginative yet careful – ways. Gavrielides does all this by judiciously connecting the disciplines of restorative justice and human rights. The key question of the book is: how can these two fields work collaboratively to accomplish the above goal? Contributors are a blend of scholars, policymakers, and practitioners.
This book review will do two things. One, it will give a brief synopsis of the textual themes. Two, it will highlight how this book can better justice for youth: namely, in the area of policy.
Review: Restorative justice today: Practical applications.
by Eric Assur
Over the past thirty years the number of books or publications on Restorative Justice (R.J.) has increased annually. In 2013 justice practitioners, students and conflict resolution (or conflict prevention) readers may proclaim this publication as their book of the year. The authors, both with interesting backgrounds and academic credentials have provided a ‘practical’ look at the current applications for R.J. in the United States and elsewhere. Unlike most North American or United Kingdom anthologies with limited geographic focus this publication provides an impressive worldwide frame of reference. The words they use are well chosen and the entire collection of twenty five (25) articles by a well chosen collection of twenty nine listed authors is thoughtfully organized.
Jul 25, 2013 Book Review
Review: Restorative Justice-Theories and Practices of Moral Imagination
by Eric Assur
The title alone should draw in the curious criminal justice reader. Just what is Moral Imagination and how is it related to North American justice, philosophy and practice? Amy Levad, clearly a proponent of a better way of doing justice, takes readers on a journey through philosophy and criminal justice practice. In what can readily be found ‘on line’ as her doctoral dissertation for the Emory University Religion, Ethics, and Society department, Levad provides both an overview of criminal justice and restorative justice (RJ) practices and a primer on Nicomachean Ethics and other works by Aristotle. Five unnamed counties in Colorado with RJ programs are the target for a research segment of the book. The book, a bit heavy on the philosophy, serves as a well thought out support of the restorative justice field by a self described Christian social ethicist. Religion is never the focus of the book, but some faith groups are credited for their seminal RJ projects and their ongoing support of a justice which cares for victims and seeks, when appropriate, restoration of relationships over more punitive justice modes.
Review: International perspectives on restorative justice in education
International Perspectives is a North American publication of twelve chapters offered by about a dozen authors with observations regarding the wide array of approaches or applications for what is broadly known as restorative justice (R.J.). Strangely, it quickly appears that many of the articles do not actually examine R.J. in educational settings. The school principal, college residence hall administrator and the teachers who seek out the book to guide them in improving approaches to school discipline or dispute resolution will be disappointed. However, some of the contributions are worthy of reading and reflection, despite the confusing title selection.
Restorative interventions needed for 97% cases where defendants plead guilt
Not Guilty: Are the Acquitted Innocent? is an excellent new book by Dan Givelber, Northeastern Law School professor, and Amy Farrell Northeastern Criminal Justice School professor.
In this easy to read book, the authors provide valuable information and insights into how judges and juries behave, and how understanding acquittals better (acquittals occur once in every 100 cases) could improve our justice system....
Review: Regulating restorative justice: A comparative study of legislative provision in European countries
Many European countries have taken at least some steps towards incorporating restorative justice in their system, and this book assess how far some of them have gone in formalizing their progress in legislation. The countries represented are Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, the United Kingdom, and two neighbours, Israel and Turkey.
Each chapter, after two introductory ones, follows a template giving a legal description and evaluation of restorative processes, and the political and legal understanding of victim-offender mediation and restorative justice. The list of nearly 40 subdivisions, combined with the analysis in the concluding chapter, are in themselves a useful outline of factors that need to be considered by anyone planning to introduce restorative justice or indeed to improve on measures already introduced. There is something to learn from most countries about how to introduce RJ, or in some cases how not to.
Review: The legacy of community justice
Reviewed by Dan Van Ness
There are really two subjects of this collection of articles. One is community justice, which continues to exert influence in the juvenile and criminal justice fields. The second and more important one is Dennis (Denny) Maloney. Denny was an influential, charismatic, larger-than-life leader in the restorative and community justice movement until his untimely death in 2007.
Review: Art in Action: Expressive Arts Therapy and Social Change
By Marian Liebmann
It’s refreshing to see a book which contains many surprising and good techniques using our ‘right brains’ and the whole of ourselves. We spend too much time on ‘left-brain’ activities, planning, writing notes and reports, working out logistics, spending hours in front of our computer screens. This book is about another way of experiencing the world, and of helping many others in the process.
This collection of essays seems to be an outcome of collaboration between staff of Lesley University (in Cambridge, USA and Israel) and the European Graduate School in Switzerland, the only master’s degree course in Expressive Arts in Conflict Transformation and Peacebuilding. In fact many of the authors are involved in both institutions.