Restorative justice represents “a paradigm shift in the way Americans conceptualize and administer punishment,” says author Maisha T. Winn, from a focus on crime to a focus on harm, including the needs of both those who were harmed and those who caused it. Her book, Justice on Both Sides, provides an urgently needed, comprehensive account of the value of restorative justice and how contemporary schools can implement effective practices to address inequalities associated with race, class, and gender.
Winn, a restorative justice practitioner and scholar, draws on her extensive experience as a coach to school leaders and teachers to show how indispensable restorative justice is in understanding and addressing the educational needs of students, particularly disadvantaged youth. Justice on Both Sides makes a major contribution by demonstrating how this actually works in schools and how it can be integrated into a range of educational settings. It also emphasizes how language and labeling must be addressed in any fruitful restorative effort. Ultimately, Winn makes the case for restorative justice as a crucial answer, at least in part, to the unequal practices and opportunities in American schools.
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