Restorative Justice: Ideas, Values, Debates

Restorative Justice: Ideas, Values, Debates

Restorative Justice: Ideas, Values, Debates

Restorative Justice: Ideas, Values, Debates


First published in 2002, Restorative Justice: Ideas, Values, Debates is renowned worldwide as an accessible, balanced and invaluable analysis of the argument that restorative justice can provide an attractive alternative to traditional responses to crime. The second edition includes a new chapter identifying and analysing fundamental shifts and developments in restorative justice thinking over the last decade. It suggests that the campaign for restorative justice has not only grown rapidly in the last decade, but has also changed in its focus and character. What started as a campaign to revolutionise criminal justice has evolved into a social movement that aspires to implant restorative values into the fabric of everyday life. This new edition explores the implications of this development for restorative justice's claim to provide a feasible and desirable alternative to mainstream thinking on matters of crime and justice.


For the second edition of this book I have decided to keep the original text almost intact. I have made some minor revisions and added some references to important material published since the first edition. So much has changed since the first edition – in the field of restorative justice and in my own thinking about the subject – that if I started to tinker with the text I would find it hard to stop. The result would be not a second edition of this book, but an entirely different one. Instead, I have opted to add an additional chapter (Chapter 9), which looks at developments in the campaign for restorative justice over the last decade and argues that there have been some fundamental shifts in the focus of the restorative justice movement.

One consequence of adding this chapter is that I can now happily delete a sentence from the original preface. In a long list of things that the book does not do I included: ‘What would have been interesting, but is excluded on the ground that it is too complex to cover in a short introductory text, is a study of the range of applications of the ideas and principles of restorative justice beyond criminal justice …’. If the argument of Chapter 9 is correct, then to no longer cover these would be to present a partial and distorted account of the aspirations of the campaign for restorative justice.

In deciding upon this approach to the second edition, I was helped significantly by a conversation with Howard Zehr. I am grateful to him for this, and more generally for his helpful encouragement of my work on restorative justice. I am also indebted to Daniel Van Ness for his comments on the new chapter – but again more generally for what I have learned from him while working together on the Handbook of Restorative Justice (Johnstone and Van Ness 2007) and in subsequent conversations. Daniel’s essay ‘New Wine in Old Wineskins’ (1993) was one of the things that enticed me to embark on the study of restorative justice, and to have subsequently collaborated with him was a great pleasure for me. None of the above is, of course, in any way responsible for the shortcomings of this book.

In a different way, I am grateful to Brian Willan who commissioned the first edition of this book for Willan Publishing and for encouraging me to do a second edition. In common with just about everyone who worked with Brian before his . . .

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