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NEW! #RFBookClub

Join us in the #RFBookClub as we share book recommendations, book reviews, author spotlights, and links to purchase print resources that foster hope and repair harm using restorative practices.  

Now available!


The Restorative Justice in Education Handbook and Implementation Guide.   

Our new RF-RJE Implementation Manual: an NL companion guide for The Little Book of Restorative Justice Education. Dr. Dorothy Vaandering and Deenaree Voelker, 2018. 

Three key resources 


  • Evans, K., & Vaandering, D. (2016). The Little Book of Restorative Justice in Education: Fostering responsibility, Healing, and Hope in Schools. Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.

    • This little book guides the growth of restorative justice in education (RJE) in the future. Incorporating activities, stories, and examples throughout the book, three major interconnected and equally important aspects of restorative justice in education are explained and applied: creating just and equitable learning environments; building and maintaining healthy relationships; healing harm and transforming conflict.

  • Boyes-Watson, C., & Pranis, K. (2015). Circle Forward: Building a Restorative School Community. Minnesota: Living Justice Press.

    • Circle Forward is a resource guide designed to help teachers, administrators, students and parents incorporate the practice of Circles into the everyday life of the school community. This resource guide offers comprehensive step-by-step instructions for how to plan, facilitate and implement the Circle and provides over one hundred specific lesson plans and ideas for the application of Circles for a variety of purposes within the school environment. A ‘must-have’ resource for implementing restorative justice in schools in a holistic manner.

  • Hopkins, B. (2011). The Restorative Classroom: Using Restorative Approaches to Foster Effective Learning. Optimus Education.

    • This manual explores relational pedagogy that truly does change school culture. It is packed with ideas for classrooms that include suggestions for curriculum, pedagogy, and responses to student behaviour. A key resource.



If you are exploring or getting started, ‘must reads’ include:


  • Amstutz, L. S.& Mullet. (2015). The Little Book of Restorative Discipline for Schools: Teaching Responsibility; Creating Caring Climates. Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.

    • A little book that provides stories and practical beginning ideas for responses to student behaviour.

  • Pranis, K. (2015). Little Book of Circle Processes: A New/Old Approach to Peacemaking. New York: Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.

    • A little book that provides practical ideas for using circle processes not just for conflict resolution but for discussion of all kinds.

  • Riestenberg, N. (2012). Circle in the Square. Minnesota: Living Justice Press

    • This book focuses on the challenges facing school communities and how restorative measures- especially Circles- create a safer place for learning and development for all. Using stories direct from the hallways, the author brings heart to subjects that are often diverse and controversial: bullying and other violence, suspension, drug use, staff conflicts and more. The book offers strategies that actually work for the whole school community: students, parents, administrators, teachers, and the community in which they live.

  • Schumacher, A. (2014). Talking circles for adolescent girls in an urban high school: A restorative practices program for building friendships and developing emotional literacy skills. Sage Open, 4(4), 2158244014554204.

  • Zehr, H. (2015). The Little Book of Restorative Justice: Revised and Updated. Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.

    • A little book that provides background to theory and principles of restorative justice.

For a more in-depth look at the foundational principles of Restorative Justice, the following resources are important:

  • Brown, M. A. (2018). Creating restorative schools: Setting schools up to succeed. St. Paul, MN: Living Justice Press.

    • Creating Restorative Schools is based on Brown's study of two middle schools in the Oakland Unified School District that are making the shift to a restorative model. Addressing the potential pitfalls of implementing such a deep change in school culture, Brown shows us how the nurturing of relationships builds the capacity to make the shift and negotiate the challenges. Restorative schools emerge as places where people want to be—where teachers want to teach, and students want to learn.

  • Gardner, T. (2016). Discipline Over Punishment: Successes and Struggles with Restorative Justice in Schools.

    • Discipline Over Punishment is an exploration of the transformative potential of restorative discipline practices in schools, ranging from the micro-level of one-on- one interactions with students to the macro-level of re-routing the school-to- prison pipeline and improving life outcomes for young people. Gardner, who continues to teach high school in Oakland, CA, has spent nearly 20 years innovating, struggling, and succeeding to implement various restorative justice practices in classrooms and schools around the Bay Area.

  • Lockhart, A., & Zammit, L. (2005). Restorative Justice: Transforming Society. Toronto: Inclusion Press.

    • A book outlining details for conducting full restorative justice circles with lots of Canadian-based school and community stories to illustrate the potential restorative justice holds for developing stronger relationship-based communities.

  • Morrison, B. (2007). Restoring Safe School Communities: A Whole School Response to Bullying, Violence and Alienation. Sydney: Federation Press.

    • A comprehensive overview of the field of restorative justice in education. Full of research related literature as well as practical information to help schools move forward from rule-based to relationship-based cultures.

  • Pranis, K., Stuart, B., & Wedge, M. (2003). Peacemaking Circles: From Crime to Community. Minnesota: Living Justice Press.

    • A key book in understanding Indigenous perspectives of restorative justice and peacemaking circles.

  • Sullivan, D., & Tifft, L. (2001). Restorative Justice: Healing The Foundations of Our Everyday Lives (pg. 51). Monsey, NY: Willow Tree Press.

    • A key publication in understanding restorative justice as coming from a needs- based not an incident-based place. A good thorough overview of restorative justice as a philosophy that impacts all of life.

  •  Wolterstorff, N. (2006). Teaching justly for justice. Journal of Education and Christian Belief, 10(2), 23-37.

    • Though not addressing restorative justice specifically, this article provides significant foundation for understanding justice as honouring the worth of all.

  • Zehr, H. (2003). Changing Lenses: A New Focus for Crime and Justice. Waterloo: Herald Press.

    • The foundational book on restorative justice by a pioneer in the field.


Digging deeper, answering questions that arise, and developing more explicit practice:


  • Blood, P., & Thorsborne, M. (2006, October). Overcoming resistance to whole-school uptake of restorative practices. In International Institute of Restorative Practice’s ‘The Next Step: Developing Restorative Communities, Part 2’Conference (pg. 18-20).

  • Boyes-Watson, C. (2013). Peacemaking circles and urban youth. Minnesota: Living Justice Press.

    • This book explores how the Circle process is being used by a remarkably innovative youth center outside Boston. Using Circles extensively, not only with immigrant, gang, and street youth but also with the families, community and throughout the organization, is integral to the center’s effectiveness.

  • Burnett, N., & Thorsborne, M. (2015). Restorative practice and special needs: A practical guide to working restoratively with young people. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

    • This practical guide explains how to implement restorative approaches with young people with special needs in educational or residential settings.

  • Costello, B., Wachtel, J., & Wachtel, T. (2010). Restorative circles in schools: Building community and enhancing learning. International Institute for Restorative Practices.

    • A book that presents an array of practical ideas for how circles can be used in classrooms, hallways, playgrounds, and staff rooms. Written clearly and with lots of examples, it is the type of book you can pick up and skim as you look for ways to nurture a relational culture.

  • Sellman, E., Cremin, H., & McCluskey, G. (2013). Restorative approaches to conflict in schools: Interdisciplinary perspectives on whole school approaches to managing relationships. Abingdon, OX; Routledge.

    • This edited volume draws together offers both critique and guidance in order that the implementation of restorative approaches in schools may be undertaken thoughtfully and sustainably.

  • Thorsborne, M., & Blood, P. (2013). Implementing Restorative Practice in Schools: A Practical Guide to Transforming School Communities. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

    • A current, very helpful manual that gets into the hope of implementing restorative practices in schools.

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