Faith was a source of inspiration for many who constructed the institutions of contemporary criminal justice. It was also a resource for some of the early practitioners of restorative justice. Its influence on both groups continues.

Faith communities are touched by restorative practices in a number of ways. They may use restorative processes to resolve their own conflicts. Their members may be victims, offenders and/or family members of both. They may seek to influence their communities to support restorative programs. They may sponsor, or their members may participate in, those programs. And they may advocate for systemic change to make restorative justice a more prominent part of their community's response to crime. Or they may oppose restorative reforms. The following articles consider the challenging and sometimes complicated relationship between faith communities and restorative justice.

A Pilot Study of a Faith-Based Restorative Justice Intervention for Christian and Non-Christian Offenders

Source: (2008) Journal of Psychology and Christianity. 27(2):159-167As prison populations continue to rise, faith-based and restorative justice programs show promise in influencing offenders' internal motivations and external behaviors. Using a o... Read More

The Role of the Church in Criminal Justice Reform

Source: (2002) Paper presented at the Justice That Restores Forum. Orlando, FL 14-16 March 2002.Addressing a forum on restorative justice with participants from diverse perspectives, Daniel Van Ness focuses on the role of the Christian Church in c... Read More

Spiritual roots of restorative justice- A Christian perspective

Source: (2000) In Spiritual roots of restorative justice: A collection of faith community perspectives, 13-18. Ontario, Canada: Ontario Multifaith Council on Spiritual & Religious Care.In this essay, Evan Heise states that restorative justice prac... Read More

Prison, Prisoners, and the Bible

Source: (2003) Justice Reflections: Worldwide papers linking Christian Ideas with Matters of Justice. Issue 3 (JR 13-20).Writing in the New Zealand context, Christopher Marshall states that fear of crime, "not rising crime rates," is a primary rea... Read More

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