First, I would like to thank everyone with whom I have worked over the past ten years or so in the field of conflict management, circle time, alternatives to violence, mediation and restorative justice. I have tried to mention direct sources of inspiration, but over the years it becomes difficult to remember where all the different ideas have come from. I acknowledge that the ingredients here come from many sources, and my contribution is to have cooked them up into a new dish called 'Just Schools'.
I owe a huge debt of thanks to the international restorative justice community, many of whom have known that I have been writing this book, and have sent me ideas and encouraging e-mails. Some people have even been kind enough to read bits of the book as I have been struggling over them. I want to mention particularly Nancy Riestenberg and Annie Warner Roberts in the United States, and Marg Thorsborne, Marg Armstrong, Brenda Morrison, Di Margetts and Peta Blood in Australia. How wonderful to learn from, and be supported by, such a powerful, visionary group of women.
It is also important to mention the influence and encouragement of seminal thinkers and practitioners like Terry O'Connell, Howard Zehr, David Moore and John Braithwaite who have been generous with their time and ideas, either face to face or by e-mail.
Closer to home, I want to thank those people I think of as my restorative justice family, the people who have encouraged me and given me so many opportunities to try out my ideas and develop my thinking – Charles Pollard, Debbie Hewer, Tony and Kathryn Walker, Maggie Kelly, Nic Brennan, Nicky Preston, Mel Lofty, Jackie Keyser, Sue Raikes, Patsy Townsend, Chris Harman, Richard Newcombe, Gordon Richardson, Graham Waddington, Hilary Cremin, Eemonn Keenan and, recently, Gary Fletcher and Mandy Watkins.
I want to thank Edmund Burke, Tom Heydeman and Hilary Reed, who took the time to read chapters and discuss them with me. I also want to thank the many friends who listened to me and picked me up when my confidence faltered, helping me to believe in myself and in the book – Nic Bayley, Amanda James, Morag (Miffy) Scally, Kirsty Dabbs, Fiona Elwell, John Mulligan, Dave Hamilton, Chris Kiely, Tim Carroll and Peter Burton. Many more friends have simply helped me by being there, and reminding me there is more to life than restorative justice (I humour them!). They are too many to mention, and I almost surely would miss someone out. I can only say how lucky I am to know them all.