Engaging ideas, transforming minds
Engaging ideas, transforming minds

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Canadian Scholars’ Press
328 pages
6 x 9 inches
May 2000
Print ISBN: 9781551301747


Can justice be healing? Can crime victims find a new peace through transformative processes that include victims, offenders and community in creative solutions that enable all to grow? We can "turn irritation into iridescence," find ways to take the hard blows of life, and use the very power of our pain to grow from the experience, and create new hope beyond crime or other trauma.

Forgiveness is an untapped force in our revenge-oriented culture. These stories show that forgiveness is not condoning or forgetting, or failing to set limits. Forgiveness is recognizing and acknowledging all that was wrong, but refusing to be destroyed by it, and refusing to be drawn into a cycle of hatred and bitterness.

We can change our criminal justice system to include transformative methods. We can change our world to one with greater social and economic justice. For readers who yearn for realistic hope in these troubled times, this is a must read.

Related Titles

Table of Contents

Part I: Listening: The First Step in Transformation
Chapter 1: What is Transformative Justice?
Chapter 2: Stories of Listening
Chapter 3: Anyone can Play the Game: Pat
Chapter 4: Widening the Circles of Prison Work

Part II: Transformative Processes
Chapter 5: Circle Sentencing and Family Group Conferences as Transformative Justice
Chapter 6: The “F” Word: Where Does Forgiveness Come In?

Part III: Key Challenges in Transformation
Chapter 7: But Does it Satisfy Us?
Chapter 8: Transforming Distributive Injustice
Chapter 9: Transformative Justice: Power for the Future

Ruth Morris

Ruth Morris is a leading authority on new approaches to criminal justice. She has worked as a university professor and social activist for more than twenty years, helping to build better local, national, and international justice systems. Her books include Crumbling Walls: Why Prisons Fail; Street People Speak; and Listen Ontario!


"The vision of transformative justice stands as critique and a reminder that the issues surrounding crime cannot be separated from the issue of distributive justice. Concrete practices like sentencing circles, listening, talking and feeling construct a healing space where mutual obligations, responsibility and commitments develop. Storytelling is a powerful way of sharing the experience of transformation. Ruth Morris’ collection of stories does this in a compelling way."
—  Judge Bria Huculak

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