(Book) Understanding restorative justice: How empathy can close the gap created by crime

A new book examined the use of restorative justice in repairing the harm created by criminal offences. The book explored the development of empathy and compassion across the ‘timeline’ of restorative justice, from the committed offence, through the criminal justice process, to the restorative meeting, drawing on United Kingdom case studies.

This unique book is a clear and detailed introduction that analyses how restorative justice nurtures empathy, exploring key themes such as responsibility, shame, forgiveness and closure.

The core notion of the book is that when a crime is committed, it separates people, creating a ‘gap’.

This can only be reduced or closed through information and insight about the other person, which have the potential to elicit empathy and compassion from both sides.



Introduction Part One: Empathy Level Zero: Hurting

  • Crime and unhappiness
  • The gap caused by crime

Part Two: Empathy Level One: Seeing

  • Entering the criminal justice system
  • Into the criminal courts

Part Three: Empathy Level Two: Voicing

  • Unripe restorative justice
  • Restorative enquiry
  • The keys and blocks to restorative justice
  • Choice, encouragement or coercion?

Part Four: Empathy Level Three: Hearing

  • Indirect restorative justice
  • The restorative meeting

Part Five: Empathy Level Four: Helping

  • ‘Doing sorry’
  • Does it always go so well?

Part Six: Empathy Level Five: Healing

  • Into the heart of restorative justice