Zehr has taught restorative justice at CJP since 1996. He also served as CJP’s co-director from 2001 to 2007.
Zehr, who shies away from the word “retirement,” says he always planned to stop teaching before he lost his edge, and he wants to make space for others to step in. “Sometimes the only way you can do that,” he says, “is to get out of the way.”
The Zehr Institute will spread knowledge about restorative justice and be a resource to practitioners, while facilitating conversations and cultivating connections through activities like conferences and webinars, according to CJP executive director Lynn Roth. The institute will be co-directed by Zehr and Carl Stauffer, assistant professor of development and justice studies at CJP.
Zehr and Stauffer say they intend for the institute to offer space to explore “frontier” topics, like the intersection of the arts and peacebuilding, and the ways that trauma and restorative justice are connected. They plan for it to tap the expertise of practitioners who aren't scholars, but have much to offer.