Recommended Reading


Breathing Underwater – Richard Rohr

When we learn to identify our addiction, embrace our brokenness, and surrender to God, we begin to bring healing to ourselves and our world. Rohr shows how the gospel principles in the Twelve Steps can free anyone from any addiction – from an obvious dependence on alcohol or drugs to the more common but less visible addiction that we all have to sin. 


Addiction & Grace – Gerald G. May, M.D.

Drawing on his experience as a psychiatrist working with the chemically dependent, Mai details the various addictions we suffer and emphasizes how addiction represents a doomed attempt to assert complete control over our lives. This is compassionate and wise treatment of this important topic, offering a critical yet hopeful guide to a place of freedom based on contemplative spirituality. 


Addiction and Pastoral Care – Sonia E. Waters and John Swinton 

Substance addictions present a unique set of challenges for pastoral care. In this book, Sonia Waters weaves together personal stories, research, and theological reflection to offer helpful tools for ministers, counsellors, chaplains, and anyone else called to care pastorally for those struggling with addiction.

Waters uses the story of the Gerasene demoniac in Mark’s Gospel to reframe addiction as a “soul-sickness” that arises from a legion of individual and social vulnerabilities. She includes pastoral reflections on oppression, the War on Drugs, trauma, guilt, discipleship, and identity. The final chapters focus on practical-care skills that address the challenges of recovery, especially ambivalence and resistance to change.

Homeward – Life in the Year After Prison – Bruce Western

Quantitative and qualitative evidence-based research drives a better understanding of what works and what doesn’t in successful ex-offender community reintegration. This 2018 re-entry study was conducted in Boston, Massachusetts.

Boundaries – Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend
This book offers biblically-based answers to tough questions (E.g. Can I set limits and still be a loving person? What are legitimate boundaries? What if someone is upset or hurt by my boundaries?Aren’t boundaries selfish?). Through insights and stories, the authors demonstrate how to set healthy boundaries with our parents, spouses, children, friends, co-workers, and even ourselves.

Jesus Calling – Sarah Young
These writings are based on Jesus’ own words of hope, guidance, and peace within Scripture—penned by one who loves Him and reveres His Word. These devotions will help you look forward to your time with God and experience a deeper relationship as you savour the presence of the One who understands you perfectly and loves you forever.


My Utmost for His Highest – Oswald Chambers
The book’s strength lies in its stubborn insistence on the objective reality of redemption as the only secure foundation. Today subjective experience is often accepted as the criterion for authentic faith. In Chambers, we are constantly being reminded that the ground of faith and experience is the person of Jesus Christ.



The Songs of Jesus – Timothy Keller‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬
Tim Keller takes readers on a year-long journey through the Psalms. During the first six months, there is a brief devotional on each of the Psalms, with a basic overview and life application. During the last six months, Keller show readers how to turn each Psalm into a prayer. The book features excerpts from Keller’s bestselling books, recommended readings for deeper study, and fresh biblical insights.


Experiencing God day by Day – Richard Blackaby and Henry T. Blackaby
Brimming with insight and seasoned with grace, this 365-day devotional reader helps to start a daily routine by focusing the mind on the divine presence in each life. Whether selected as a thoughtful gift or as a personal resource, this book will inspire great changes while sustaining the essential habit of turning to God on a daily basis.

What’s So Amazing About Grace? – Philip Yancey

We speak of grace often. But do we understand it? More important, do we truly believe in it… and do our lives proclaim it as powerfully as our words? This book gives us a probing and impassioned look at grace: what it looks like…what it doesn’t look like…and why only Christians can and must reveal the grace the world is searching for.


Transforming Grace – Jerry Bridges

Grace is amazing because it is God’s provision for when we fall short of His standards. Unfortunately, too many of us embrace grace for our salvation but then leave it behind in our everyday lives. We base our relationship with God on our performance rather than on His love for us, even when we intuitively know that our performance cannot earn us the love we so desperately crave. Isn’t it time to stop trying to measure up and begin accepting the transforming power of God’s grace? 

Reflections of a Siamese Twin – John Ralston Saul 

Caught up in crises—political, economic, and social—Canada continues to flounder, unable to solve or even really identify its problems. Instead, we assert absolute differences between ourselves: we are English or we are French; Natives or Europeans; early immigrants or newly arrived; from the east or from the west. Or we bow to ideologies and deny all differences in the name of nationalism, unity, or equality. In a startling exercise in reorientation, John Ralston Saul makes sense of Canadian myths—real, false, denied—and reconciles them with the reality of today’s politics, culture, and economics.

From the Ashes – Jesse Thistle

This autobiographical book demonstrates how difficult it is for individuals to come out of a cycle of addiction and crime, particularly where they have been abused and/or neglected and where systemic racism is at play. This is a heartwarming and heart-wrenching memoir.


Indian Horse – Richard Wagamese

Set in Northern Ontario in the late 1950s and early 1960s, it follows protagonist Saul Indian Horse as he uses his extraordinary talent for ice hockey to try and escape his traumatic residential school experience. He achieves moderate success as a hockey player but is unable to escape his “indian” identity or the trauma from his past. A prominent theme in the novel is the power of storytelling. Saul must tell his story in order to confront the horrors of his past. On his journey to sobriety, Saul reflects: “Sometimes ghosts linger. They hover in the furthest corners and when you least expect, lurch out, bearing everything they brought to you when they were alive.” (

Seven Fallen Feathers: Racism, Death, and Hard Truths in a Northern City – Tanya Talaga

From 2000 to 2011, seven Indigenous high school students died in Thunder Bay, Ont. The seven were hundreds of miles away from their families, forced to leave home and live in a foreign and unwelcoming city. Five were found dead in the rivers surrounding Lake Superior, below a sacred Indigenous site. Using a sweeping narrative focusing on the lives of the students, award-winning investigative journalist Tanya Talaga delves into the history of this small northern city that has come to manifest Canada’s long struggle with human rights violations against Indigenous communities. (

Five Little Indians – Michelle Good 

Taken from their families as small children and confined at a remote, Church-run residential school, Kenny, Lucy, Clara, Howie and Maisie are barely out of childhood when they are finally released, with no money or support, after years of detention. Alone and without skills and support or family, the teens find their way to the seedy and foreign world of Downtown Eastside Vancouver, where they cling together, striving to find a place of safety and belonging in a world that doesn’t want them. The paths of the five friends cross and crisscross over the decades as they struggle to overcome, or at least forget, the trauma they each endured during their years at the Mission. 

With compassion and insight, Five Little Indians chronicles the bonds of friendship between this group of survivors as they help each other reinvent their lives and, ultimately, find a way forward. 

CAMH Publications

Visit for accessible, reliable, professionally produced resources on an array of mental health topics for patients, families, students and professionals.

The Bondage Breaker – Neil T. Anderson

Harmful habits, negative thinking, and irrational feelings can all lead to sinful behaviour and keep you in bondage. If you feel trapped by any of these strongholds in your life, know that you are not alone – you can break free. This book offers a wholistic approach to spiritual warfare that is rooted in the Word of God. 

Spiritual Warfare for Every Christian – Dean Sherman (with Bill Payne) 

God has called Christians to overcome the world and drive back the forces of evil and darkness at work within it. Spiritual warfare isn’t just casting out demons: it’s Spirit-controlled thinking and attitudes. Dean delivers a no-nonsense, both-feet-planted-on-solid-ground approach to the unseen world. 

Spiritual Leadership – J Oswald Sanders

J. Oswald Sanders presents and illustrates principles of leadership through biographies of eminent men of God – men such as Moses, Nehemiah, Paul, David Livingstone, and Charles Spurgeon.

Christianity needs a powerful voice in today’s world. Such a voice can come only from strong leaders guided by God and devoted to Christ. Spiritual Leadership will encourage you to place your talents and powers at His disposal so you can become a leader used for His glory.


Spiritual Leadership: Moving People on to God’s Agenda – Henry and Richard Blackaby

This book encourages business and church leaders alike to follow God’s biblical design for success. It covers topics such as a leader’s challenges, character qualities, influence, decision-making techniques, and more, all the while focusing on how leaders discover and promote God’s vision for their organization and move people on to His agenda. There are also chapters on leading change and leading teams.


Discipleship: What it Truly Means to be a Christian – Collected Insights from A.W. Tozer

Do you long to be more like Christ? Discipleship lies at the center of Christian life and practice. It is a beautiful journey, in which each of us simultaneously attempts to become more like Christ and to help others do the same. It is our most important task on earth, but often it is neglected or misunderstood.



In the Name of Jesus: Reflections on Christian Leadership – Henri J M Nouwen 

Henri Nouwen was a spiritual thinker with an unusual capacity to write about the life of Jesus and the love of God in ways that have inspired countless people to trust life more fully. Most widely read among the over 40 books Nouwen wrote, is In the Name of Jesus. For a society that measures successful leadership in terms of the effectiveness of the individual, Nouwen offers a counter definition that is witnessed by a “communal and mutual experience.” For Nouwen, leadership cannot function apart from the community. His wisdom is grounded in the foundation that we are a people “called.”

Ministry and Spirituality – Henri J M Nouwen

Coming together in one revised edition are three classic works by Henri J.M. Nouwen: Creative Ministry, The Wounded Healer, and Reaching Out. The common thread in these volumes is the author’s melding of spirituality and service. In Creative Ministry Nouwen examines teaching, preaching, individual pastoral care, organizing, and celebrating. In Wounded Healer, he calls upon ministers to become stewards of their own pain. And in Reaching Out, Nouwen probes the spiritual life as a journey between loneliness and solitude, hostility and hospitality, illusion and prayer. One of the legacies of the writings of Henri J.M. Nouwen is his ability to make clear the deep connections between spirit and sensitivity.


Soul Care: 7 Transformational Principles for a Healthy Soul – Dr Rob Reimer

Brokenness grasps for the soul of humanity. We are broken body, soul, and spirit, and we need the healing touch of Jesus. Soul Care explores seven principles that are profound healing tools of God: securing your identity, repentance, breaking family sin patterns, forgiving others, healing wounds, overcoming fears, and deliverance. Dr. Rob Reimer challenges readers to engage in an interactive, roll-up-your-sleeves and get messy process — a journey of self-reflection, Holy Spirit inspiration, deep wrestling, and surrender. It is a process of discovering yourself in true community and discovering God as He pierces through the layers of your heart. Life change is hard. But these principles, when packaged together and lived out, can lead to lasting transformation, freedom, and a healthy soul. Soul Care encourages you to gather a small group of comrades in arms, read and process together, open your souls to one another, access the presence and power of God together, and journey together into the freedom and fullness of Christ.


Award-winning author, professor, and pastor A.J. Deoboda offers hopoeful, practical vision for questioning your faith without losing it.

The Expanding Prison: The Crisis in Crime and Punishment and the Search for Alternatives – David Caley  

The Expanding Prison is a provocative, cogent argument for prison reform. David Cayley argues that our overpopulated prisons are more reflective of a society that is becoming increasingly polarized than of an actual surge in crime. This book considers proven alternatives to imprisonment that emphasize settlement-oriented techniques over punishment and move us towards a vision of justice as peace-making rather than one of vengeance.


Crime Control as Industry: Towards Gulags, Western Style – Nils Christie

The rising tide of crime is a dominant feature of modern society. Moreover, finding successful methods of dealing with crime is an increasingly sensitive political issue. But could our concerns be misplaced, and could it be crime control, rather than crime itself, that is the real danger for the future? In this book, Nils Christie argues that crime control has become an industry with unlimited potential for growth. Raw material, in the form of those actions regarded as criminal, is in abundant supply, and now fuels the rapid growth of an industry creating its own profits, jobs, and demand for further growth. The resulting forms of control are exposed in this book, which surveys a range of western societies, from those in Europe where prison rates remain low, to the United States, where the prison population is ten times larger than anywhere else in the world.


Discipline and Punish; the Birth of the Prison. – Michael Foucault

In this brilliant work, the most influential philosopher since Sartre suggests that such vaunted reforms as the abolition of torture and the emergence of the modern penitentiary have merely shifted the focus of punishment from the prisoner’s body to his soul.


Healing the Gospel – Derek Flood

Why did Jesus have to die? Was it to appease a wrathful God’s demand for punishment? Does that mean Jesus died to save us from God? How could someone ever truly love or trust a God like that? How can that ever be called “Good News”? It’s questions like these that make so many people want to have nothing to do with Christianity.

Healing the Gospel challenges the assumption that the Christian understanding of justice is rooted in a demand for violent punishment and instead offers a radically different understanding of the gospel based on God’s restorative justice. Connecting our own experiences of faith with the New Testament narrative, author Derek Flood shows us an understanding of the cross that not only reveals God’s heart of grace, but also models our own way of Christ-like love. It’s a vision of the gospel that exposes violence, rather than supporting it–a gospel rooted in love of enemies, rather than retribution. The result is a nonviolent understanding of the atonement that is not only thoroughly biblical, but will help people struggling with their faith to encounter grace.


Canada’s Big House; The Dark History of the Kingston Penitentiary – Peter H. Hennessy

A report in 1833 by a committee of three respected Kingston colonials called for the construction of a limestone penitentiary on Hatter’s Bay to the west of the town. Their report contained these words of advice for its future governors: “…[shall] be a place by every means not cruel and not affecting the health of the offender, [but] shall be rendered so irksome and so terrible that during his lifetime he may dread nothing so much as a repetition of the punishment…” The obvious contradiction within this historical mandate of Canada’s Big House has bedevilled the entire history of the jail. Its original high moral purpose – penitence through silent reflection – drifted away into the foggy realm of official myth almost as soon as the first convicts arrived in 1835.

This semi-documentary study of the Kingston Penitentiary by a local writer and historian lays bare in cool prose the rapid descent from puritanical purpose to merely punitive management. For the first 75 years, repression was accepted as the norm, even applauded, by the local citizens, some of the inmates, and the political establishment. Over the last hundred years, repressive practices at Kingston Peneitentiary have been publicized, analyzed, and increasingly denounced. In the outcome, the Big House at Kingston has become almost unmanageable. What to do with it? The question still hangs in the air.


A Just Measure of Pain: The Penitentiary in the Industrial Revolution, 1750-1850 – Michael Ignatieff

Documents the new philosophy of punishment that replaced public punishment with imprisonment and rudimentary attempts at rehabilitation in an effort to control the criminal poor



 “Imprisonment and the Need for Justice.” – Michael Ignatieff

In this article I want to ask two questions. One is about prisoners:
under what precise conditions can we expect a prisoner to accept the justice of his or her punishment? When, if ever, does a prisoner
accept that he or she needs to be punished?

More God, Less Crime; Why Faith Matters and How It Could Matter More – Byron R. Johnson

In More God, Less Crime Byron R. Johnson, a leading authority on both the scientific study of religion and criminal justice, proves that religion can be a powerful antidote to crime. The criminal justice system is disastrously broken, and despite research showing the benefits of including faith-based solutions in crime prevention policies, many experts are reluctant to include such measures in their recommendations. This book draws on the latest research to make a clear case that any effective crime fighting policy must include government and faith-based efforts in partnership.


Returning to the Teachings: Exploring Aboriginal Justice – Rupert Ross

In his bestselling book Dancing with a Ghost, Rupert Ross began his exploration of Aboriginal approaches to justice and the visions of life that shape them. Returning to the Teachings takes this exploration further still.

During a three-year secondment with Justice Canada, Ross travelled from the Yukon to Cape Breton Island, examining—and experiencing—the widespread Aboriginal preference for “peacemaker justice.” In this remarkable book, he invites us to accompany him as he moves past the pain and suffering that grip so many communities and into the exceptional promise of individual, family and community healing that traditional teachings are now restoring to Aboriginal Canada. He shares his confusion, frustrations and delights as Elders and other teachers guide him, in their unique and often puzzling ways, into ancient visions of Creation and our role with it.

Returning to the Teachings is about Aboriginal justice and much more, speaking not only to our minds, but also to our hearts and spirits. Above all, it stands as a search for the values and visions that give life its significance and that any justice system, Aboriginal or otherwise, must serve and respect.


The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Punishment – Richard T. Snyder

This bold work confronts the spirit of punishment that permeates our culture and its deleterious effects on today’s penal system and society at large. Rooted in experiences of prison reality, the book sets forth an original theory about the theological roots of our current punitive ethos and offers a creative antidote informed by a commitment to restorative justice. Snyder shows that the spirit of punishment in our culture is rooted in and reinforced by popular Christian misunderstandings of human nature and God’s grace. These misunderstandings include two consequential errors: the absence of any notion of “creation grace” and an understanding of “redemption grace” couched exclusively in individualistic, internalized, and nonhistorical terms. In both cases the social-historical dimensions of grace necessary for holistic redemption are ignored. These theological distortions, coupled with a prevailing cultural context that divides people between “them” and “us”-the most virulent form of which is racism-make a spirit of punishment inevitable. Snyder finds clues for a different understanding of humanity and God in responses to crime categorized as “restorative justice”. These alternative perspectives seek redemption not only for the perpetrator but also for the victims of crime and the larger community. They also recognize all persons as “graced,” no matter what their actions may have been. Drawing on these clues, Snyder initiates fresh ways of thinking about the traditional theological concepts of covenant, incarnation, and trinity as foundations for a restorative approach to justice. He also challenges religious communities to understand God’s good news in ways that offer hope for a transformed world. The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Punishment is an eye-opening work with profound implications for contemporary social life.


Ethics in Criminal Justice: In Search of the Truth – Sam S. Souryal

Introducing the fundamentals of ethical theory, this text exposes the reader to the ways and means of making moral judgments by covering the teachings of the great philosophers, sources of criminal justice ethics and unethical patterns in the criminal justice system. It is presented from two perspectives: a thematic perspective that addresses ethical principles common to all components of the discipline, and an area-specific perspective that addresses the state of ethics in criminal justice in the fields of policing, corrections, and probation and parole. The fourth edition features expanded discussion of the formula of ethical discretion to enhance students’ understanding of ethics decision making in real-life situations, as well as a new chapter on the ethics of loyalty and loyalties in the workplace.


Stricken by God? Nonviolent Identification and the Victory of Christ – Brad Jersak and Michael Hardin

Did God really pour out his wrath against sin on his Son to satisfy his own need for justice? Or did God-in-Christ forgive the world even as it unleashed its wrath against him? Was Christ’s sacrifice the ultimate fulfillment of God’s demand for redemptive bloodshed? Or was the cross God’s great “No” to that whole system? This distinctively panoramic volume offers fresh perspectives on these and other difficult questions reemerging throughout the church today.

Beyond Retribution: A New Testament Vision for Justice, Crime and Punishment – Christopher D. Marshal

Recently a growing number of Christians have actively promoted the concept of “restorative justice” and attempted to develop programs for dealing with a crime based on restorative principles. But is this approach truly consistent with the teaching of Scripture? To date, very little has been done to test this claim. Beyond Retribution fills a gap by plumbing the New Testament on crime, justice, and punishment.

Christopher Marshall first explores the problems involved in applying ethical teachings from the New Testament to mainstream society. He then surveys the extent to which the New Testament addresses criminal justice issues, particularly at the concept of the justice of God in the teachings of Paul and Jesus. He also examines the topic of punishment, reviewing the debate in social thinking over the ethics and purpose of punishment — including capital punishment — and he advocates a new concept of “restorative punishment.” The result of this engaging work is a biblically based challenge to imitate the way of Christ in dealing with both victims and offenders.


Exclusion and Embrace Revised & Updated: A Theological Exploration of Identity, Otherness, and Reconciliation – Miroslav Volf

In that first edition, professor Volf, a Croatian by birth, analyzed the civil war and “ethnic cleansing” in the former Yugoslavia. He readily found other examples of cultural, ethnic, and racial conflict to illustrate his points. Since September 11, 2001, and the subsequent epidemic of terror and massive refugee suffering worldwide, Volf revised Exclusion and Embrace to account for the evolving dynamics of inter-ethnic and international strife.

Engaging the Powers: Discernment and Resistance in a World of Domination – Walter Wink

Wink explores the problem of evil today and how it relates to the New Testament concept of Principalities and Powers. He asks, “How can we oppose evil without creating new evils and being made evil ourselves? 

Correctional Chaplains: Keepers of the Cloak – W. Thomas Beckner

Dr. Beckner briefly reviews the history of correctional chaplaincy and its development within the American criminal justice system and summarizes several significant studies of the profession. He examines the critical premises on which chaplaincy rests and presents a unique structural model of chaplaincy consisting of four critical dimensions: personal, pastoral, administrative, and community. Beckner then shows how this paradigm serves as a template for developing a chaplaincy plan that will meet the needs of a specific institutional setting and can be monitored for effective results.

Reflections of a Canadian Prison Warden; The Visionary Legacy of Ron Wiebe: An Unfinished Conversation – Correctional Service of Canada.  

Reflections of a Canadian Prison Warden, Published by the Correctional Service of Canada  

A Living Tradition: Penitentiary Chaplaincy – J.T.L. James

These personal reports provide ample original documentation of the contribution of early chaplains to the theory and practice of penology in Canada. Because the type of reformatory that Canada has called penitentiary is an adopted one, this book first explores the origins of such institutions. Since the concept of the penitentiary has religious roots, the expectations of the role of religion in such prisons is particularly relevant. This study shows how the chaplains’ commitment to their mission has compelled them to treat all inmates with compassion and dignity in the hope of their eventual rehabilitation. Chaplains have been active participants in the criminal justice system, both concerning their pastoral ministry and what they see as their prophetic calling.

Let My People Go! : Following Jesus into Our Jails and Prisons – Stan Moody

The judgment scene in Matthew 25 calls believers in Jesus Christ to get out of our clubhouses and onto the streets, where the least of these my brothers (v.40) may be found. Let My People Go is a twelve-step invitation to our American church culture to examine what we are supposed to be doing as Christians, what we are doing, and whether what we are doing is standing in the way of what we are supposed to be doing.

Time Together: A Survival Guide for Families and Friends Visiting in Canadian Federal Prisons – Lloyd Withers

A Survival Guide for Families and Friends Visiting Canadian Federal Prisons

Understanding Needs, Breaking Down Barriers: Examining Mental Health Challenges and Well-Being of Correctional Staff in Ontario, Canada – R. Ricciardelli, R.N. Carleton, J. Gacek and D.L. Groll

 Mental health challenges appear to be extremely prolific and challenging for correctional service employees, affecting persons working in community, institutional, and administrative correctional services. Focusing specifically on correctional workers employed by the Ontario Ministry of the Solicitor General, we shed light on their interpretations of the complexities of their occupational work and of how their work affects staff. Using a qualitative thematic approach to data analyses, we show that participants (n = 67) encounter barriers to treatment seeking, which they describe as tremendous, starting with benefits, wages, and shift work. We let the voices of staff elucidate what is needed to create a healthier correctional workforce. Recommendations include more training opportunities and programs; quarterly, semiannual, or annual appointments with a mental health professional who can assess changes in the mental health status of employees; offsite assessments to ensure confidentiality; and team-building opportunities to reduce interpersonal conflict at work and increase morale by improving the work environment.

Provincial Correctional Service Workers: The Prevalence of Mental Disorders – R.N. Carleton, Rosemary Ricciardelli, Tamara Taillieu, Meghan M. Mitchell, Elizabeth Andres, and Tracie O. AfifiCorrectional service employees in Ontario, Canada (n = 1487) began an online survey available from 2017 to 2018 designed to assess the prevalence and correlates of mental health challenges. Participants who provided data for the current study (n = 1032) included provincial staff working in institutional wellness (e.g., nurses) (n = 71), training (e.g., program officers) (n = 26), governance (e.g., superintendents) (n = 82), correctional officers (n = 553), administration (e.g., record keeping) (n = 25), and probation officers (n = 144, parole officers). Correctional officers, workers in institutional administration and governance positions, and probation officers reported an elevated risk for mental disorders, most notably posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and major depressive disorder. Among institutional correctional staff, 61.0% of governance employees, 59.0% of correctional officers, 43.7% of wellness staff, 50.0% of training staff, and 52.0% of administrative staff screened positive for one or more mental disorders. In addition, 63.2% of probation officers screened positive for one or more mental disorders. Women working as correctional officers were more likely to screen positive than men (p < 0.05). Across all correctional occupational categories, positive screens for each disorder were: 30.7% for PTSD, 37.0% for major depressive disorder, 30.5% for generalized anxiety disorder, and 58.2% for one or more mental disorders. Participants between ages 40 and 49 years, working in institutional governance, as an institutional correctional officer, or as a probational officer, separated or divorced, were all factors associated (p < 0.05) with screening positive for one or more mental disorders. The prevalence of mental health challenges for provincial correctional workers appears to be higher than for federal correctional workers in Canada. Further, it supports the need for evidence-based mental health solutions.

Confronting the Horror: The Aftermath of Violence – Wilma Derksen

Subtitled The Victim’s Journey Through the 15 Elements of Serious Crime, this book is written in an easy-to-read conversational style. The book organizes the crime’s victim detour into stages and elements that most victims will encounter. Each chapter begins with a family-type story gently introducing the theme or the element. This is followed by a description of the element, the underlying reasons for it, the consequences and then practical helps for dealing with the element. The book is accessible and applicable to anyone who has experienced a crime and those who support them.

Prison Stories (Memoirs of a Chaplain) – Lorne Freake

Prison Stories is exactly what the title describes. However, not all the stories are within the walls of correctional facilities. Some of the stories are accounts of what has taken place outside the walls, in communities throughout Atlantic Canada. It is a storybook that ‘grabs your heart’ with emotions of sadness and surprise. Not only is it a storybook, but it is also a textbook as it highlights many valuable lessons learned along the way in correctional chaplaincy ministry.

Wanted: A Spiritual Pursuit Through Jail, Among Outlaws, and Across Borders – Chris Hoke
Interweaving his own story with moving vignettes and gritty experiences in hidden places, a jail chaplain and minister to Mexican gang and migrant worker communities chronicles his spiritual journey to the margins of society and reveals a subversive God who’s on the loose beyond the walls of the church, pursuing those who are unwanted by the world.

Wanted follows a restless young man from the sunny suburbs of his youth to the darker side of society in the rainy Northwest, where he finds the direct spiritual experience he’s been seeking while volunteering as a “night shift” chaplain at a men’s correctional facility. The jail becomes his portal to a mysterious world on the margins of society, where a growing network of Mexican gang members soon dub him their “pastor.” As he comes to terms with this uncomfortable title—and embraces the role of a shepherd of black sheep—his adventures truly begin.

Glimpses of Grace: Reflections of a Prison Chaplain – D. Stoesz

“Glimpses of Grace” relates the joys and challenges of a prison chaplain through a series of one-page vignettes. The open-ended stories are written with a pastor’s heart that seeks to minister to the needs and hopes of offenders who have committed serious crimes. The book takes the reader from opportunities for pastoral care to issues of relationships, authority, and restorative justice. The author explores the challenges of ecumenism and inter-faith dialogue while remaining true to his Christian faith. He looks at ministry from the volunteers’ perspective and writes about how staff can be an ally in corrections. He regards offenders as subjects who define the nature of the pastoral relationship.

Doing Life: Portraits and Interviews – Howard Zehr

What does it mean to face a life prison sentence? What have “lifers” learned about life—from having taken a life? Photographer Howard Zehr has interviewed and made portraits of men and women in Pennsylvania prisons who are serving life sentences without the possibility of parole. Readers see the prisoners as people, de-mystified.  Brief text accompanies each portrait, the voice of each prisoner speaking openly about the crime each has committed, the utter violation of another person each has caused. They speak of loneliness, missing their children growing up, dealing with the vacuum caught between death and life. A timely book.

Transcending: Reflections of Crime Victims – Howard Zehr

Are victims of crime destined to have the rest of their lives shaped by the crimes they’ve experienced? (“What happened to the road map for living the rest of my life?” asks a woman whose mother was murdered.) Will victims of crime always be bystanders in the justice system? (“We’re having a problem forgiving the judge and the system,” says the father of a young man killed in prison.) Is it possible for anyone to transcend such a comprehensively destructive, identity-altering occurrence? (“I thought, I’m going to run until I’m not angry anymore,” expresses a woman who was assaulted.)

Howard Zehr presents the portraits and courageous stories of 39 victims of violent crime in Transcending: Reflections of Crime Victims. Many of these people were twice-wounded: once at the hands of an assailant, the second time by the courts, where there is no legal provision for a victim’s participation. “My hope,” says Zehr, “is that this book might hand down a rope to others who have experienced such tragedies and traumas and that it might allow all who read it to live on the healing edge.”

Restorative Juvenile Justice: Repairing the Harm of Youth Crime – Gordon Bazemore and Lode Walgrave

Drafts of the chapters in this book were discussed by the authors in a workshop held at the first International Conference on Restorative Justice for Juveniles in Leuven, Belgium, in May 1997 … organized by the International Network for Research on Restorative Justice for Juveniles.”

Restorative Justice and De-Professionalization – John Braithwaite

Restorative justice is a process where all the stakeholders affected by an injustice have an opportunity to discuss how they have been affected by the injustice and to decide what should be done to repair the harm. With crime, restorative justice is about the idea that because crime hurts, justice should heal. It follows that conversations with those who have been hurt and with those who have afflicted the harm must be central to the process. Empirically it happens to be the case that victims of crime are more concerned about emotional than material reparation (Strang, 2003). Lawyers are obviously not well placed to give an account of these emotional harms and how they might be healed. Hence, the practice of restorative justice has become a de-professionalizing project. Yet we will see that lawyers still have an important, decentred place in a restorative justice system.

The Spiritual Roots of Restorative Justice – Michael Hadley  

This interdisciplinary study explores what major spiritual traditions say in the text, tradition, and current practice about criminal justice in general and Restorative Justice in particular. It reflects the close collaboration of scholars and professionals engaged in multifaith reflection on the theory and practice of criminal law. Various traditions are explored: Aboriginal spirituality, Buddhism, Chinese religions, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, and Sikhism. Drawing on a wide range of literature and experience in the field of Restorative Justice and recognizing the ongoing interdisciplinary research into the complex relationships between religion and violence, the contributors clarify how faith-based principles of reconciliation, restoration, and healing might be implemented in pluralistic, multicultural societies.

A Restorative Justice Reader. 2nd ed. – Gerry Johnstone

A Restorative Justice Reader brings together carefully chosen extracts from the most important and influential contributions to the literature of restorative justice, accompanying these with an informative commentary providing context and explanation. It includes works by well-known advocates of restorative justice and some of the key critics of the restorative justice movement.

The new edition has been thoroughly revised to take account of the rapid expansion of the literature on restorative justice over the last decade. Classical readings are accompanied by more recent literature representing the most significant contributions to research, discussion and debate concerning restorative justice.

Handbook of Restorative Justice – Gerry Johnstone and Daniel W. Van Ness

This book provides a comprehensive and authoritative account and analysis of restorative justice, one of the most rapidly growing phenomena in criminology and justice studies.

Peacemaking Circles: From Crime to Community – Kay Pranis, Barry Stewart and Mark Wedge  

Peacemaking Circles offers a core understanding of talking Circles, which are Indigenous in origin. The book inspires people worldwide to come together in a good way to work out whatever issues they face.  

Restoring Justice – Daniel Van Ness and Karen Heetderks

This book offers a clear and convincing explanation of restorative justice, a movement within criminal justice with growing worldwide influence. It explores the broad appeal of this new vision and offers a brief history of its development. The book presents a theoretical foundation for the principles and values of restorative justice and develops its four corner post ideas: encounter, amends, inclusion and reintegration. After exploring how restorative justice ideas and values may be integrated into policy and practice, it presents a series of key issues commonly raised about restorative justice, summarizing various perspectives on each.

Changing Lenses: A New Focus for Crime and Justice – Howard Zehr

Crime victims have many needs, most of which our criminal justice system ignores. In fact, the justice system often increases injury. Offenders are less ignored by this system, but their real needs for accountability, closure, for healing are also left unaddressed. Such failures are not accidental but are inherent in the very definitions and assumptions which govern our thinking about crime and justice. Howard Zehr proposes a “restorative” model, more consistent with experience, the past, and biblical tradition. He considers recent studies and biblical principles based on the needs of victims and offenders. This is the third edition of Changing Lenses, with a new Afterword by the author.

The Little Book of Restorative Justice – Howard Zehr

Zehr proposes workable principles and practices for making Restorative Justice possible in this revised and updated edition of his bestselling, seminal book on the movement.
Restorative Justice, with its emphasis on identifying the justice needs of everyone involved in a crime, is a worldwide movement of growing influence that is helping victims and communities heal while holding criminals accountable for their actions.

Critical Issues in Restorative Justice – Howard Zehr and Barb Toews

Restorative justice has grown from a few scattered experimental projects into a worldwide social movement in a mere quarter-century. Beyond its origins within the criminal justice arena, restorative justice is now being applied in schools, homes and the workplace.

The restorative justice approach challenges the idea that state punishment is the best method of achieving justice. This “restorative” alternative strives to directly address the needs of all persons affected by a crime or harm, often by bringing together victims, offenders and community members in some form of structured mediation or dialogue.

The Big Book of Restorative Justice: Four Classic Justice & Peacebuilding Books in One Volume – Howard Zehr, Lorraine Stutzman Amstutz,  Allan MacRae, and Kay Pranis.

Restorative justice, with its emphasis on identifying the justice needs of everyone involved in a crime, is a worldwide movement of growing influence that is helping victims and communities heal while holding criminals accountable for their actions. This is not a soft-on-crime, feel-good philosophy but a concrete effort to bring justice and healing to everyone involved in a crime. Circle processes draw from the Native American tradition of gathering in a circle to solve problems as a community. Peacemaking circles are used in neighbourhoods, schools, workplaces, and social services to support victims of all kinds, resolve behaviour problems, and create positive climates.

Each book is written by a scholar at the forefront of these movements, doing this important reading for classrooms, community leaders, and anyone involved with conflict resolution.

God in the Dock – CS. Lewis

This book contains forty-eight essays and twelve letters written by Lewis between 1940 and 1963. Ranging from popular newspaper articles to learned defences of the faith, these pieces cover topics as varied as the logic of theism, good and evil, miracles, the role of women in the church, and ethics and politics. Many represent Lewis’s first ventures into themes he would later treat in full-length books.

Compassionate Justice – Christopher D. Marshall

Two parables that have become firmly lodged in popular consciousness and affection are the Good Samaritan’s parable and the Prodigal Son’s parable. These simple but subversive tales have had a significant impact on shaping Western civilization’s spiritual, aesthetic, moral, and legal traditions, and their capacity to inform debate on a wide range of moral and social issues remains as potent today as ever. Noting that both stories deal with episodes of serious interpersonal offending, and both recount restorative responses on the part of the leading characters, Compassionate Justice draws on the insights of restorative justice theory, legal philosophy, and social psychology to offer a fresh reading of these two great parables. It also provides a compelling analysis of how the priorities commended by the parables are pertinent to the criminal justice system today. The parables teach that the conscientious cultivation of compassion is essential to achieving true justice. Restorative justice strategies, this book argues, provide a promising and practical means of attaining this goal of reconciling justice with compassion.

The Nonviolent Atonement – J. Denny Weaver

A provocative study that cuts to the very heart of Christian thought, The Nonviolent Atonement challenges the traditional, Anselmian understanding of atonement and the assumption that heavenly justice depends on Christ’s passive, innocent submission to a violent death at the hands of a cruel God. Instead, J. Denny Weaver offers a thoroughly nonviolent paradigm for understanding atonement, grounded in the New Testament and sensitive to pacifist, black, feminist, and womanist theology concerns. While many scholars have engaged the subject of violence in atonement theology, Weaver’s Nonviolent Atonement is the only book that offers a radically new theory rather than simply refurbishing existing theories. Key features of this revised and updated second edition include new material on Paul and Anselm, expanded discussion on the development of violence in theology, interaction with recent scholarship on atonement, and response to criticisms of Weaver’s original work.

Free of Charge – Miroslav Volf

We are at our human best when we give and forgive. But we live in a world where it makes little sense to do either. Where can we find the motivation to give in to our increasingly graceless culture? And how do we learn to forgive when forgiving seems counterintuitive or futile?

A deeply personal yet profoundly thoughtful book, Free of Charge explores these questions–and the further questions to which they give rise–in light of God’s generosity and Christ’s sacrifice for us. Miroslav Volf draws from popular culture and a wealth of literary and theological sources, weaving his rich reflections around the sturdy frame of Paul’s vision of God’s grace and Martin Luther’s interpretation of that vision.

Blending the best of theology and spirituality, he encourages us to echo God’s generous giving and forgiveness in our lives. A fresh examination of two practices at the heart of the Christian faith–giving and forgiving–the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Lenten study book for 2006 is, at the same time, an introduction to Christianity. It is a compelling invitation to the Christian faith as a way of life.

The Sacredness of Human Life – David P. Gushee

This authoritative book is the most comprehensive examination of the sacredness of human life. Never before has one volume explored this subject in a multifaceted way, encompassing biblical roots, theological elaborations, historical cases, and contemporary ethical perspectives.

An Ethic For Enemies – Donald D. Shriver Jr.

This book challenges us to confront the hatreds that cripple society and threaten to destroy the global village.

Why Social Justice Is Not Biblical Justice – David Allen Scott

In recent years, a set of ideas rooted in postmodernism and neo-Marxist critical theory have merged into a comprehensive worldview. Labelled “social justice” by its advocates, it has radically redefined the popular understanding of justice. It purports to value equality and diversity and to champion the cause of the oppressed. Yet many Christians have little knowledge of this ideology and don’t see the danger. Many evangelical leaders confuse ideological social justice with biblical justice. Of course, justice is a deeply biblical idea, but this new ideology is far from biblical.

It is imperative that Christ-followers, tasked with blessing their nations, wake up to the danger and carefully discern the difference between Biblical justice and its destructive counterfeit. This book aims to replace confusion with clarity by holding up the counterfeit and Biblical worldviews, showing how significantly they differ in their core presuppositions. It challenges Christians not merely to denounce the false worldview but to offer a better alternative—the incomparable Biblical worldview, which shapes cultures marked by genuine justice, mercy, forgiveness, social harmony, and human dignity.

Rethinking Social Justice: Restoring Biblical Compassion – Darrow L. Miller

“In an era where the doing of ‘justice’ is increasingly popular, the challenge for the church is now less about the activity of doing social justice and more about doing it well and doing it in the name of Jesus. Rethinking Social Justice is an important addition to the conversation about the effective definition and practice of social justice for the church.” – Keith Wright, president and CEO, Thrive Global, LLC

Transforming Twisted Thinking – Jerry Price

Transforming Twisted Thinking reveals the illusions to which people cling as they live in ways that distort their relationships and cause harm to others. By applying biblical insights into God’s mandate for healthy relationships, Jerry Price offers a path for reforming one’s life by subjecting one’s thinking to the honesty and integrity God desires.

Drawing upon life’s experiences, biblical insights, and field-tested models for transforming lives, Transforming Twisted Thinking presents this combination in a conversational style that does not spare honesty in revealing personal twistedness or forthrightness in offering God’s guidance. In addition to fourteen chapters that describe the diverse ways people twisted their thinking, four appendices offer resources on definitions of terms, the allures of forbidden excitement, advice for applying principles, and questions for study and discussion.

If you are seeking a new path for your life, one that takes you away from the dishonesty of twisted thinking, or if you feel a calling to support someone in his or her journey, then Transforming Twisted Thinking offers a grounded, faithful, and proven approach to finding healing through reshaping lives out of trust in God’s promises and willingness to conform to God’s desires.

Ambassadors of Reconciliation Volume one– Ched Myers and Elaine Enns

Rereading the biblical tradition as a resource for the cause of restorative justice and peacemaking.

Ambassadors of Reconciliation Volume two– Ched Myers and Elaine Enns

The second volume explores the theology and practice of faith-rooted restorative justice and peacemaking.

What’s Wrong With Sin – Derek R. Nelson

This title portrays two primary doctrines of sin, posited in the last half-century, the ‘structural sin’ type and the ‘relational self’ type. After an introduction to the current discussion on the doctrine of sin, two nineteenth-century rejections of individualistic conceptions of sin are exposited and critiqued. The book concludes with recommendations from the preceding analyses for further understanding the social dimensions of sin.

God At War – Gregory A. Boyd

In this book, the author undertakes to reframe the central issues of Christian theodicy. By Boyd’s estimate, theologians still draw too heavily on Augustine’s response to the problem of evil, attributing pain and suffering to God’s mysterious “good” purposes. Accordingly, modern Christians are inclined not to expect evil and are baffled but resigned when it occurs. On the other hand, New Testament writers were inclined to expect evil and fight against it. Modern Christians attempt to understand evil intellectually, whereas New Testament writers grappled with overcoming evil. Through a close and sophisticated reading of both the Old and New Testaments, Boyd argues that Satan has been in an age-long (but not eternal) battle against God and that this conflict “is a major dimension of the ultimate canvas against which everything within the biblical narrative, from creation to the eschaton, is to be painted and therefore understood.” No less edifying than it is provocative, God at War will reward the careful attention of scholars, pastors, students and educated laypersons alike.

Practicing Reconciliation in a Violent World – Michael Battle

How do we practice reconciliation in a world full of violence? How do we love someone at work who seems hell-bent on sabotaging a successful career? And how do religious people resolve differences when religious interpretations lead to righteous indignation rather than reconciliation? 

According to Michael Battle, we practice reconciliation by affirming that God is present and acting on that belief, even in the midst of something that looks more like the devil’s work. Battle, who worked with Desmond Tutu in South Africa in the past, draws on his knowledge of biblical texts and contemporary scholarship to examine how each of us can practice reconciling people.

Reconciliation: The Ubuntu Theology of Desmond Tutu – Michael Battle

Reconciliation is Michael Battle’s highly original analysis of Bishop Tutu’s theology of ubuntu – an African concept recognizing that persons and groups form their identities in relation to one another. This model successfully opposes apartheid racism in South Africa but offers a Christian paradigm for resisting oppression wherever it appears. Drawing on a wide range of primary sources, including Tutu’s unpublished speeches and sermons, and many secondary sources, Battle portrays the Nobel Peace Prize winner as a theologian who embraces Anglican orthodoxy and has consistently applied that framework to issues of race in South Africa. Yet Tutu is much more than a conventional theologian. He is, as Battle shows, not only an articulate preacher and, at times, an unwilling politician but a genuinely committed theologian whose deepest roots are in prayer and protest.

Limits to Pain – Christie Nils  

Inflicting pain is a serious matter, often at variance with cherished values such as kindness and forgiveness. Attempts might therefore be made to hide the basic character of the activity or to give various “scientific” reasons for inflicting pain. Such attempts are systematically described in this book and related to social conditions. None of these attempts to cope with pain seem to be quite satisfactory. In their struggle with penal theories, it is as if societies oscillate between attempts to solve an insoluble dilemma. Punishment is used less in some systems than in others. Based on examples from systems where the pain is rarely inflicted, some general conditions for a low level of pain infliction are formulated. The standpoint is that if the pain is to be applied, this should be done without a manipulative purpose and in a social form resembling that which is normal when people are in deep sorrow. Most of the material is from Scandinavia, but the book draws extensively on the crime control debate in the United Kingdom and the USA.

Justice That Restores Why Our Justice System Doesn’t Work and the Only Method of True Reform – Charles W. Colson
America’s justice system is broken. Offenders repeat and return to jail. Chuck Colson shows why the prevailing criminal justice systems simply don’t work. The book showcases Colson at his best, including personal stories, historical studies, and shocking statistics. Bottom line: only a system based on a biblical worldview, a system that restores both the offender and the offended, will have any lasting success. This authoritative work is Colson’s legacy statement about criminal justice. These proven principles can reverse the current criminal decline.

The Way of Letting Go: One Woman’s Walk toward Forgiveness – Wilma Derksen
Maybe it was the sting of remarks from a relative or friend. Maybe a miscarriage ended your hopes for a family. For all of your heartbreaks, maybe you wished there was someone to help you through. For Wilma Derksen, letting go of the 15 misconceptions about grief led her back to hope. In this book, she tells how you can do the same.

Wilma’s world collapsed when her teenage daughter, Candace, was taken hostage and murdered. Wilma now shares her choices to “let go” of heartbreak, which gave her the courage to navigate through the dark waters of sorrow. Like Wilma, maybe your heartbreak forced you to retreat from happy expectations, believing that life is fair, and find closure for every circumstance. She encourages patiently: let go of the happy ending, let go of perfect justice, let go of fear, and let go of closure. Wilma’s wisdom will help you overcome your broken heart, and her advice will enable you to break free of pain and live true joyfully.

Living Gently in a Violent World: The Prophetic Witness of Weakness – Stanley Hauerwas, Jean Vanier, and John Swinton.

How are Christians to live in a violent and wounded world? Rather than contending for the privilege by wielding power and authority, we can witness prophetically from a position of weakness. The church has much to learn from an often-overlooked community―those with disabilities.
In this fascinating book, theologian Stanley Hauerwas collaborates with Jean Vanier, founder of the worldwide L’Arche communities. For many years, Hauerwas has reflected on the lives of people with disability, the political significance of community, and how the experience of disability addresses the weaknesses and failures of liberal society. And L’Arche provides a unique model of inclusive community underpinned by a deep spirituality and theology. Together, Vanier and Hauerwas carefully explore the contours of a countercultural community that embodies a different way of being and witnesses to a new order―one marked by radical forms of gentleness, peacemaking, and faithfulness.
The authors’ explorations shed light on what it means to be human and how we are to live. The robust voice of Hauerwas and the gentle words of Vanier offer a synergy of ideas that, if listened to carefully, will lead the church to a fresh practice of peace, love, and friendship. This invigorating conversation is for everyday Christians who desire to live faithfully in a violent and broken world.

Imprisoning Our Sisters: The New Federal Women’s Prisons in Canada – Stephanie Hayman

A provocative contribution to the debate on how Canada should deal with women prisoners.



The Anatomy of Peace: Resolving the Heart of Conflict – Arbinger Institute

Leadership and Self-Deception, The Arbinger Institute’s first book, The Anatomy of Peace, has become a worldwide phenomenon – not because of a media blitz, movie tie-in, or celebrity endorsement, but because readers have enthusiastically recommended it to colleagues, relatives, and friends. The Anatomy of Peace asks, What if conflicts at home, work, and world conflicts stem from the same root cause? What if we systematically misunderstand that cause? And what if, as a result, we unwittingly perpetuate the very problems we think we are trying to solve? Through an intriguing story, we learn how and why we contribute to the divisions and problems we blame on others and the surprising way that these problems can be solved. Yusuf al – Falah, an Arab, and Avi Rozen, a Jew, each lost their father at the hands of the other’s ethnic cousins. The Anatomy of Peace is the story of how they came together, how they help warring parents and children come together, and how we can find our way out of the struggles that weigh us down. This second edition includes new sections enabling readers to go deeper into the book’s key concepts; access to free digital study and discussion guides; and information about The Reconciliation Project, a highly successful global peace initiative based on concepts in  The Anatomy of Peace.

Embodying Forgiveness: A Theological Analysis – L. Gregory Jones

A topic unjustly neglected in contemporary theology, forgiveness is often taken to be either too easy or too difficult. On the one hand, the conception of forgiveness views it mainly as a move made for the well-being of the forgiver. On the other hand, forgiveness is sometimes made too difficult by suggestions that violence is the only effective force for responding to injustice. In this exciting and innovative book, L. Gregory Jones argues that neither of these extreme views is appropriate and shows how practices of Christian forgiveness are richer and more comprehensive than often thought. Forgiveness, says Jones, is a way of life that carries distinctive concepts of love, community, confession, power, repentance, justice, punishment, remembrance, and forgetfulness. In Part 1 of Embodying Forgiveness, Jones first recounts Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s struggle against the temptation to make forgiveness either too easy or too difficult in his thought and, even more, in his life and death at the hands of the Nazis. Jones then considers each of these temptations, focusing on the problem of “therapeutic” forgiveness and forgiveness’s “eclipse” by violence. Part 2 shows why a trinitarian identification of God is crucial for an adequate account of forgiveness. In Part 3, Jones describes forgiveness as a craft and analyzes the difficulty of loving enemies. He deals with problems of disparities in power, impenitent offenders, and the relations between forgiveness, accountability, and punishment. The book concludes by discussing the possibility of certain “unforgivable” situations. Developing a strong theological perspective on forgiveness throughout, Jones draws on films and a wide variety of literature as well as on Scripture and theological texts. In so doing, he develops a rich and comprehensive exploration of what it truly means to embody Christian forgiveness.

Reconcile: Conflict Transformation for Ordinary Christians – John Paul Lederach

Originally published as The Journey Toward Reconciliation and based on Lederach’s work in war zones on five continents, this revised and the updated book tells dramatic stories of what works―and what doesn’t―in entrenched conflicts between individuals and groups. Lederach leads readers through stories of conflict and reconciliation in Scripture, using these stories as anchors for peacemaking strategies that Christians can practice in families and churches.

The Little Book of Conflict Transformation Clear Articulation of the Guiding Principles by a Pioneer in the Field – John Paul Lederach
This clearly articulated statement offers a hopeful and workable approach to conflict—that eternally beleaguering human situation. John Paul Lederach is internationally recognized for his breakthrough thinking and action related to conflict on all levels—person-to-person, factions within communities, and warring nations. He explores why “conflict transformation” is more appropriate than “conflict resolution” or “management.” But he refuses to be drawn into impractical idealism.

Firmly rooted in faith and Mennonite teachings and related to the popular concept of restorative justice, conflict transformation is an idea with a deep reach. Its practice, says Lederach, requires “both solutions and social change.” It asks not simply, “How do we end something not desired?” but “How do we end something destructive and build something desired?” How do we deal with the immediate crisis, as well as the long-term situation? What disciplines make such thinking and practices possible?

Little Book of Biblical Justice: A Fresh Approach to the Bible’s Teachings on Justice – Chris Marshal
Christians regard the Bible as a uniquely important source of guidance on matters of belief and practice. Therefore, what the Bible has to say about justice—both social justice and criminal justice—should be of great significance for Christian thought and action today. Yet coming to grips with biblical teaching on justice is by no means easy.

Marshall addresses the many complexities that surround “justice” in the Bible: the Bible seems to hold conflicting points of view; there is a huge amount of data to deal with; the world of the Bible and our present world are vastly different. Marshall’s honest treatment of this subject is direct yet almost lyrical in tone. He clearly manages a thorny, multi-faceted subject and ultimately singles out the broad areas of theological agreement among the Bible’s writers. Highly stimulating. Highly inspirational.

Careless Society: Community and Its Counterfeits – John McKnight

Amid all the hand-wringing about the loss of community in America these days, here is a book that celebrates the ability of neighborhoods to heal themselves from within. John McKnight shows how competent communities have been invaded and colonized by professionalized services — often with devastating results. Overwhelmed by these social services, community spirit falters: families collapse, schools fail, violence spreads, and medical systems spiral out of control. Instead of more or better services, the basis for resolving many of America’s social problems is the community capacity of the local citizens.

The Prison and the Factory: Origins of the Penitentiary System – Dario Mellosi and Massimo Pavarini.

This new edition of The Prison and the Factory, a classic work on radical criminology, includes two new, long essays from the authors and a foreword from Professor Jonathan Simon (UC Berkeley). In the two essays, Melossi and Pavarini reflect on the origins, development and fortune of The Prison and the Factory in relation to the debates surrounding mass incarceration that has taken place since this book was first published 40 years ago. The reputation of the original work has long been established worldwide, and this updated version will be of special interest to scholars of the criminal justice system, penology, and Marxist theory.

This seminal book examines the links between the development of a capitalist political economy and changing forms of social control. Melossi and Pavarini analyze the connection between the creation of penal institutions and regimes in Europe and the USA and the problems generated by the emergence of capitalist social relations. They provide a thorough neo-Marxist view of emergent capitalism and the penal mechanisms constructed to deal with the labour problem.

Is Justice Possible?: The Elusive Pursuit of What Is Right – J. Paul Nyquist 

If our world is so sophisticated, why is there so much injustice? What can believers do? Can we ever expect justice? Dr. Paul Nyquist, former president of Moody Bible Institute, addresses these questions and more in his new book, Is Justice Possible? At its core, this is a book about an attribute of God. Rather than rely on our ideas of justice, we must look to the One who made us and embodies justice perfectly. Only then can we pursue justice in purposeful, effective, eternal ways.

Surviving Incarceration: Inside Canadian Prisons – Rosemary Ricciardelli 

Is prison a humane form of punishment and an effective means of rehabilitation? Are current prison policies, such as shifting resources away from rehabilitation toward housing more offenders, improving the safety and lives of incarcerated populations? 

Considering that many Canadians have served time, are currently incarcerated, or may one day be incarcerated–and will be released back into society–it is essential for the functioning and betterment of communities that we understand the realities that shape the prison experience for adult male offenders. Surviving Incarceration reveals the unnecessary and omnipresent violence in prisons, the heterogeneity of the prisoner population, and the realities that different prisoners navigate to survive.

Indigenous Healing: Exploring Traditional Paths – Rupert Ross  

Imagine a world in which people see themselves as embedded in the natural order, with ethical responsibilities not only toward each other but also toward rocks, trees, water and all nature. Imagine seeing yourself not as a master of Creation but as the most humble, dependent and vulnerable part.

Rupert Ross explores this indigenous worldview and the determination of indigenous thinkers to restore it to full prominence today. He understands that an appreciation of this perspective is vital to understanding the destructive forces of colonization. As a former Crown Attorney in northern Ontario, Ross witnessed many of these forces. He examines them here with a special focus on residential schools and their power to destabilize entire communities long after the last school has closed. With help from many indigenous authors, he explores their emerging conviction that healing is now better described as “decolonization therapy.” And the key to healing, they assert, is a return to the traditional indigenous worldview.

Inside the Criminal Mind: Revised and Updated Edition – Stanton E. Samenow

Long-held myths defining the sources of and remedies for crime are shattered in this groundbreaking book—and a chilling profile of today’s criminal emerges. In 1984, Stanton Samenow changed how we think about the workings of the criminal mind with a revolutionary approach to “habilitation.” In 2014, armed with thirty years of additional knowledge and insight, Samenow explored the subject afresh, explaining criminals’ thought patterns in the new millennium, such as those that lead to domestic violence, internet victimization, and terrorism.

The Little Book of Strategic Peacebuilding – Lisa Schirch
Schirch foresees just peace—a sustainable state of affairs because it is a peace which insists on justice. She singles out four

critical actions that must be undertaken if peace is to take root at any level): ) waging conflict non-violently, reducing direct violence, transforming relationships, and building capacity.  


The Violence of Incarceration – Phil Scraton and Jude McCulloch
Conceived in the immediate aftermath of the humiliations and killings of prisoners in Afghanistan and Iraq, of the suicides and hunger strikes at Guantanamo Bay and the disappearances of detainees through extraordinary rendition, this book explores the connections between these shameful events and the inhumanity and degradation of domestic prisons within the ‘allied’ states, including the USA, Canada, Australia, the UK and Ireland.

Prison Ministry: Understanding Prison Culture inside and Out – Lennie Spitale

For most Christians, prison culture is like visiting a foreign land, and the thought of ministering in prisons to those incarcerated is an intimidating prospect. Prison Ministry will empower any pastor, educator, or a lay leader in effective prison ministry by providing a thorough “inside-out” view of prison life. Author Lennie Spitale offers a unique and qualifying vantage for writing about prison culture and prison ministry. As a young man, Spitale served a prison sentence for an armed robbery that was later reduced to assault and robbery. Two years after his conversion to Christianity, he began conducting a weekly Bible study in a local jail and has been involved in prison ministry for over two decades.

The Soul of Shame: Retelling the Stories We Believe About Ourselves – Curt Thompson

Whether we realize it or not, shame affects every aspect of our personal lives and vocational endeavours. It seeks to destroy our identity in Christ, replacing it with a damaged version of ourselves that results in unhealed pain and brokenness. But God is telling a different story for your life.

Psychiatrist Curt Thompson unpacks the soul of shame, revealing its ubiquitous nature and neurobiological roots. He also provides the theological and practical tools necessary to dismantle shame, based on years of researching its damaging effects and counseling people to overcome those wounds.

Thompson’s expertise and compassion will help you identify your own pains and struggles and find freedom from the lifelong negative messages that bind you. Rewrite the story of your life and embrace healing and wholeness as you discover and defeat shame’s insidious agenda.

The Little Book of Restorative Justice for People in Prison Rebuilding the Web of Relationships – Barb Toews

The more than 2.3 million incarcerated individuals in the United States are often regarded as a throw-away population. While the criminal justice system focuses on giving offenders “what they deserve,” it does little to restore crime’s needs or explore the factors that lead to it. Restorative justice, with its emphasis on identifying the justice needs of everyone involved in a crime, is helping to restore prisoners’ sense of humanity while holding them accountable for their actions.

In this book, Barb Toews, with years of experience in prison work, shows how people in prison can live restorative-justice principles. She shows how these practices can change prison culture and society. 

The Powers That Be Theology for a New Millennium – Walter Wink

This book offers new ways of understanding our world in theological terms. Walter Wink reformulates ancient concepts, such as God and the devil, heaven and hell, angels and demons, principalities and powers, in light of our modern experience. He helps us see heaven and hell, sin and salvation, and the powers that shape our lives as tangible parts of our day-to-day experience rather than as mysterious phantoms. Based on his reading of the Bible and analysis of the world around him, Wink creates a new language for talking about and to God. Equipped with this fresh worldview, we can embark on a new relationship with God and our world into the next millennium.

The Little Book of Trauma Healing: When Violence Strikes and Community Security Is Threatened – Carolyn Yoder

The traumas of our world go beyond individual or one-time events. They are collective, ongoing, and the legacy of historical injustices. How do we stay awake rather than numbing or responding violently? How do we cultivate individual and collective courage and resilience?

This Little Book provides a justice-and-conflict-informed community approach to addressing trauma in nonviolent, neurobiologically sound ways that interrupt cycles of violence and meet basic human needs for justice and security. In these pages, you’ll find the core framework and tools of the internationally acclaimed Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience (STAR) program developed at Eastern Mennonite University’s Center for Justice and Peacebuilding in response to 9/11. A startlingly helpful approach.


Images of Pastoral Care – Robert C. Dykstra

Robert C. Dykstra is an associate professor of pastoral theology at Princeton Theological Seminary and the author of Discovering a Sermon: Personal Pastoral Preaching from Chalice Press. In this book, Dykstra brings together in one volume discussions of various metaphors for ministry, including those proposed by pioneers and present-day shapers of pastoral theology. This unique and superb book provides not only a typology of approaches but also current trajectories for an aspect of ministry that remains fluid and open-ended.


The Three Chairs – Dr. Karyn Gordon

We all want to be great leaders who are confident, productive, and highly energized. But if you don’t learn foundational leadership skills, research shows you will face problems with communication, performance, engagement, and employee retention. The stakes are high. In this book, Dr. Karyn Gordon provides a proven framework to transform anyone’s ability to lead others.

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