Crime and Reconciliation describes the original setting in the United States where contemporary restorative justice practices first took root. Having worked with the Indiana-based Prisoner and Community Together program (PACT), which eventually advocated for healing dialogue between offending and victimized parties along with family and community members, Mark Umbreit received firsthand experience, which, ten years later, he wrote about in this early classic. In the face of overcrowded jails and a nation with the highest per capita prison population in the world, the author presents a viable alternative to the tough "law and order" approach. Casework examples are plentiful in chapters which also conclude with study guide questions for discussion groups.
Written in 1985, students of the history of modern restorative justice will appreciate the wide vision held by the pioneering practitioners who laid the foundations for a peacemaking movement that is now worldwide. This book also highlights how church communities played a key role, through independent ministries of reconciliation, in fostering the early growth of restorative work. And yet, the phrase "restorative justice" will not be found in this entire book, as it still took a few more years for that term to be popularized.