Transcending By Howard Zehr
Longtime criminal justice worker Zehr became a creative exponent of restorative justice, which focuses first on crime victims and their self-defined needs and second on bringing offenders to understand and take responsibility for the harm they have done, after concluding that current U.S. criminal justice systems ignored victims. This book of testimonies and photographs of some direct victims of crime and many spouses, parents, children, and siblings of victims responds primarily to the prime focus of restorative justice, though the secondary focus comes up in the statements of several persons who have met or want to meet their or their loved ones' attackers. Zehr says he hasn't editorially skewed the depositions, and apart from lacking verbal tics and bad spoken grammar, they ring utterly true. Most subjects report how crucial their religious faith was to dealing successfully with the rage, despair, and brokenness that engulfed them, and many remark how poorly the courts, in particular, served them.