Book/DVD Reviews

We are always interested in recommendations of books and other media relevant to Restorative Practices of all kinds. Please contact our office by email at with your suggestions.

Showing Remorse: Law and the Social Control of EmotionShowingRemorse

Richard Weisman, York University, Canada Law, Justice and Power January 2014 Ashgate 158 pages Hardback; Also available as ebook ePUB, ebook PDF

Whether or not wrongdoers show remorse and how they show remorse are matters that attract great interest both in law and in popular culture. In capital trials in the United States, it can be a question of life or death whether a jury believes that a wrongdoer showed remorse. And in wrongdoings that capture the popular imagination, public attention focuses not only on the act but on whether the perpetrator feels remorse for what they did. But who decides when remorse should be shown or not shown and whether it is genuine or not genuine? This book will be of interest to those in the fields of sociology, law, law and society, and criminology.

About the Author: Richard Weisman is Professor Emeritus, Department of Social Science, Law and Society Program, Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies, and Department of Sociology, Glendon College, York University, in Toronto, Canada.

 Reviews: ‘In this gem of a book, Richard Weisman wrestles with the concept of remorse in surprisingly novel ways, using rich illustrations to depict remarkably diverse rituals of apology. Weisman’s effort to probe the contested meanings that remorse holds in our culture, law, and morality has yielded a tour de force.’
Constance Backhouse, University of Ottawa, Canada

‘In the legal system, much depends on whether an accused wrongdoer shows appropriate remorse, yet little attention has been paid to how and why remorse should be exhibited. Richard Weisman’s important book explores what the community expects from a remorseful wrongdoer and what happens – or ought to happen – when those expectations are thwarted.’
Susan Bandes, DePaul University College of Law, USA

Implementing Restorative Practice in Schools:
A Practical Guide to Transforming School CommunitiesBloodThorsbornebook

Peta Blood and Margaret Thorsborne, paperback, 232 pages, Jessica Kingsley Publishers (2013). Available at Amazon.

Also available as an ebook, Kindle edition (Australia) (UK) (USA)

Restorative practice is a proven approach to discipline in schools that favours relationships over retribution, and has been shown to improve behaviour and enhance teaching and learning outcomes. However, in order for it to work, restorative practice needs a relational school culture. Implementing Restorative Practice in Schools explains what has to happen in a school in order for it to become truly restorative. Section 1 explains the potential of restorative practice in schools, describing the positive outcomes for students and teachers. It also outlines the measures that need to be in place in order to embed restorative practice. Section 2 examines the process of understanding and managing change, providing realistic and pragmatic guidance on the practical and emotional barriers that may be encountered. Finally, Section 3 provides in eight practical steps, strategic guidance for achieving a restorative culture that sticks. Featuring useful pro formas and templates, this book will be an indispensable guide for educators, administrators and school leaders in mainstream and specialist settings.

Our Greatest Challenge: Aboriginal Children and Human Rights

Dr. Hannah McGlade, book, 304 pages indexed, Aboriginal Studies Press (2013). Paperback available at

Through the Glass

Shannon Moroney, Hardcover book, 354 pages, Gallery Books (2012)

“An impassioned, harrowing and ultimately hopeful story of one woman’s pursuit of justice, forgiveness and healing.” (

Review by: Margaret Thorsborne, Vice Chair, RPI

This is a timely reminder that when crime happens, the fallout does not just impact the primary victims and their families. The harm to the offender’s family has for too long been, at the least misunderstood, and the most, totally ignored.  Shannon’s story, so finely attuned to her own emotional self is a must–read for anyone connected to the criminal justice system. Her deep frustrations and hurts experienced at the hands of the system, on top of the devastation of finding out her most loved Jason had committed such serious offences, challenges the thinking of all of us who imagine we are already enlightened. It is a moving account of unconditional love for a perpetrator of a terrible crime by those most closely connected to him and a lesson in separating the deed from the doer. This is a story that is both exhausting and uplifting as we join Shannon in her travels through tragedy and trauma and ultimately to healing.

A Blueprint for Emotion: Why Relationships Matter

Vick Kelly, M.D., DVD, 68 mins, Heartspeak Productions (2010)

Review by: Les Drelich, JLD Restorative Practices, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

Dr Vick Kelly’s entertaining lecture outlining Affect and Script Psychology (ASP) presented on this DVD makes sense of a complex concept. His flowing and often humorous style makes the lecture easily watchable. Read more..

Just Care: Restorative Justice Approach to Working with Children in Public Care

Belinda Hopkins, book, 224 pages, Jessica Kingsley Publishers (2009)

Review by: Jenny Chambers, youth justice policy officer with the Howard League for Penal Reform in Children and Young People Now (2010)

With more than 2,000 children in custody (UK), stubbornly high reoffending rates and millions of pounds spent on incarcerating children each year, it is often frustrating to observe the constant churn of policies based on knee-jerk responses and political point-scoring rather than evidence-based best practice.  Read more….

Would you like to review the following titles?

Anomie and Violence: Non-Truth and Reconciliation in Indonesian Peacebuilding

J. Braithwaite, et. al., book and ebook, ANU E Press (2010)

The first volume of the Peacebuilding Compared project that John Braithwaite and others from the Australian National University have been involved in, is available. FREE – Read more….

Circle in the Square:  Building Community and
Repairing Harm in School

Nancy Riestenberg, book, 278 pages indexed & ebook, Living Justice Press (2012). Paperback & Kindle Ebook available at




If you are aware of publications or projects that would be of interest to others, please let us know and we will post the information on our website.