New Book! — Justice That Transforms: Volume 1

February 25, 2020
Posted in Blog
February 25, 2020 Editor

New Book! — Justice That Transforms: Volume 1

Please click on audio of post. NOTE: only main text read; no links, text markings, images, videos, footnotes, etc. read aloud.

WN: Wipf and Stock Publishers gratefully re-published (my re-edited) Volume 1 of a series by the same title, January 9, 2020. The first edition had been published September 2018.

The graphic artist created a beautiful cover, as you can see! You may click on the cover to be taken to the Publishers’ website page for the book.

They set the price. However, I as author am granted a discount. Please contact me about that if you would like me to pass on a discount to you. For students and similar others on a tight budget, I am willing to do that. I can order for you at my discount rate, and have it directly mailed to you with combined costs on the invoice (in USD funds); which you can then send to me. Or you may purchase from me directly, if living in the Fraser Valley, or out this way. I can give you the particulars. My cost (therefore yours) if no postage is $19.00 CDN. Please let me know by clicking on CONTACT ME.

You may learn more about the series elsewhere on my website by clicking on the drop-down menu below the Restorative Justice menu above.

PLEASE feel free to let others in your networks know! THANKS!

Below is from the book:

Preface

My good friend Ron Dart, proposed that I finally pull together my Restorative Justice writings. As you see, I asked Ron to write the Foreword. He is also a prolific author and avid educator.

Two chapters were each time as indicated co-authored (though further added to/edited by me; thanks to Pierre Allard and Hugh Kirkegaard; and permissions given to include the reworked articles in this Volume.). One chapter was by Dr. C.F.D. Moule who thirty years ago granted permission to reprint it. It was powerful for me in setting a theological course in my future work.

Throughout most of the 1990s I toiled in the Restorative Justice field for Mennonite Central Committee Canada. That granted me a high perch from which to observe the increasing Canadian and worldwide awareness of this emerging phenomenon.

The 1990s was a kind of spreading-wings time of creating awareness, honing theory, delivering practice, and producing research. Criminal justice jurisdictions began encountering Restorative Justice in North America and worldwide. Many publications started emerging alongside beginnings of evidence-based research on impacts of this often-claimed “paradigm shift” (a term first used in this field by Howard Zehr, I believe) in dealing with perpetrators and people who were offended against. Whole conferences and umbrella organizations were organized and formed, to promote Restorative Justice and share expertise, the term “best practices” often employed.

Programs in many parts of the world began cross-pollinating as attempts at supplying precise definition and standards of practice proliferated. Institutions of higher learning commenced teaching it; governments started embracing and funding it; and critics, in particular from the “victim” (“victim” a term that rightly should be for the most part displaced in favor of “those harmed by crime” or the like) community, were analyzing and at times critiquing it as pro-offender and naïve. Some even accused it of being nothing more than “compulsory compassion” foisted on “victims” that left them further wounded, “justice” even perhaps (so thought) more denied while perpetrators were all but let off the hook.

Its sheer mushrooming across the planet within mere decades precluded “controls” that might have headed off some of the at times legitimate attacks.

But crime “victim” communities embraced Restorative Justice as well. Wilma Derksen in Canada early on affirmed it, amongst many others, and she parlayed it into a creative force for those harmed by crime across Canada and wider afield. She however ever held Restorative Justice practitioners and theorists to account to never forget those harmed by crime. A rare honor for Wilma was her family’s story told in inimitable style by Malcolm Gladwell in David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants.

I had the (at-the-time-unknown) privilege of stumbling upon this early seeding through accepting an assignment in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada with Mennonite Central Committee Ontario as Director of the two-year-old V.O.R.P.: Victim Offender Reconciliation Project (only—acknowledging its initial tentative nature). It later became a Program, and rightly “mediation” replaced “reconciliation” as less religiously and even teleologically charged. “Compulsory” for those harmed by crime however never—at least not in intent of practice from the outset in my involvement then and subsequently with early and most practitioners and theorists over the decades.

As to seeding: an early Restorative Justice friend, colleague, practitioner and theorist, Dave Worth of “Elmira Case” fame (see “Context” in the first chapter), during those formative years of promoting Restorative Justice repeatedly drew on Clarence Jordan of Koinonia Farm, Georgia, and author of Cotton Patch Gospel, to explain that if a farmer wanted to encourage others to try out new seed, he’d not go out and rent a lecture hall to get them in to hear about it, he’d plant rather a “demonstration plot” right at the main crossroads and let all see for themselves how well the seed produced!

Dave was one of those farmers; and eventually at the crossroads of the criminal justice world, the Restorative Justice harvest of justice became renowned for its peacemaking.

A classic biblical text in this regard reads: “When peacemakers plant seeds of peace, they will harvest justice. (James 3:18, CEV).”

The first chapter touches more on the early years.

 My wife Esther and I had an amazing eight-week experience in Rwanda May 18 to July 12, 2018. We were exposed to much about Rwanda’s post-genocide (1994) Restorative Justice/reconciliation journey. We were left with “impressions” when we departed, with no particular authority gained to assess realities there. While in Rwanda I wrote a series of “Dispatches” about our reconciliation learning. They may be found in Volume Three of this series. It was exhilarating and immense privilege to see Restorative Justice there in response to genocide taken to a whole new level.

Why publish these now? Because I can might be as good an answer! (I had learned how to do this on Amazon and Kindle in publishing a novel, Chrysalis Crucible. This volume first appeared on their Kindle Direct Publishing platform.) Because as well they may be of historical interest. And because they give opportunity to put out there the continued joy, challenge and prospect of this peacemaking work.

These writings were first gathered, edited, and uploaded onto a website, project of my retirement years, from 2014 onwards. They obviously are repetitious: Copy and Paste commands were used over the years, as audience and/or readership varied. If the art of good teaching is in part repetition, may you experience this as good indeed . . . Let the reader skip whatever however—and do his or her own editing—if wished, when repetition is encountered. You will readily note my oft-used sources.

There is no suggested order of reading them, except encouraging reading the first chapter first. Each essay is complete in itself. The most comprehensive and far-reaching in application is the chapter, “Is There A Place For Dreaming?: Restorative Justice and International State Conflict, Scholar-In-Residence Public Lecture Saint Paul University, September 13, 2007”—to which a perhaps impatient reader may wish immediately to turn.

A friend said the writings appeared to him “helter-skelter.” I like to think that, rather than being in a disorderly confusion, they have a consistent organizing theme reflected in the series’ title, as indeed do all volumes in the series. There seemed no obvious chronological or otherwise progressive order to adhere to, apart from the first chapter needing to be so placed.

There was of course copy-editing, some further light editing, and in a few cases the addition of new material, but for the most part they are included as were.

This new edition has however included more, at times longer, explanatory footnotes, at times lengthier introductions under the “Context” headings, and other changes; including corrections to the earlier publication.

Additional volumes may be found as mentioned on Amazon and Kindle. I expect there to be about five or six in all. Another series of my general writings on peace and justice is projected, tentatively titled Justice The Harvest of Peace (as per James cited above).

And the usual disclaimer: all errors I own!

  • Wayne Northey, with gratitude and joy for this lifelong peace-full and justice-yielding journey, Agassiz British Columbia, September 2019.

Acknowledgements

Co-writers of earlier publications of the final two chapters, respectively Hugh Kirkegaard and Pierre Allard, were gracious in allowing these to be reissued, and in the last chapter especially, significantly rewritten.

 

  1. [1]They are also on my website. Please look at several articles as well on American/Western will to world domination by clicking on "Selected Articles: Western Aggression Backed by Western Media”. The series of articles is introduced thus:
    The Western allies never run dry of resources to support their global war of terror and aggression, ostensibly an integral part of their foreign policy. They dynamically legislate laws lest the people awaken. They have the unbending support of the corporate media, which skilfully distorts reality. When will they ever back down from their destructive quest for colonies? Read our selection below. They are also on my website.
  2. [2]A technical note: Wipf and Stock Publishers request use of American spelling throughout. It continued:
    ‘For seven months, Tiger Force soldiers moved across the Central Highlands, killing scores of unarmed civilians – in some cases torturing and mutilating them - in a spate of violence never revealed to the American public,’ the newspaper said, at other points describing the killing of hundreds of unarmed civilians. ‘Women and children were intentionally blown up in underground bunkers,’ The Blade said. ‘Elderly farmers were shot as they toiled in the fields. Prisoners were tortured and executed - their ears and scalps severed for souvenirs. One soldier kicked out the teeth of executed civilians for their gold fillings.”   The New York Times confirmed the claimed accuracy of the stories by contacting several of those interviewed.  It reported: “But they wanted to make another point: that Tiger Force had not been a ‘rogue’ unit. Its members had done only what they were told, and their superiors knew what they were doing. “Burning huts and villages, shooting civilians and throwing grenades into protective shelters were common tactics for American ground forces throughout Vietnam, they said. That contention is backed up by accounts of journalists, historians and disillusioned troops… ‘Vietnam was an atrocity from the get-go,’ [one veteran] said in a recent telephone interview. ‘It was that kind of war, a frontless war of great frustration. There were hundreds of My Lais. You got your card punched by the numbers of bodies you counted.’ Current likely Democratic Presidential candidate John Kerry was also quoted giving evidence before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 1971.  He reported that American soldiers in Vietnam had “raped, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam in addition to the normal ravage of war, and the normal and very particular ravaging which is done by the applied bombing power of this country. Nicholas Turse [later author of: Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam], a doctoral candidate at Columbia University, has been studying government archives and said they were filled with accounts of similar atrocities. ''I stumbled across the incidents The Blade reported,'' Mr. Turse said by telephone. ''I read through that case a year, year and a half ago, and it really didn't stand out. There was nothing that made it stand out from anything else. That's the scary thing. It was just one of hundreds.'' Yet there were few prosecutions. A technical note: Wipf and Stock Publishers request use of American spelling throughout.
  3. [3]Historian John Coatsworth in The Cambridge History of the Cold War noted:
    Between 1960, by which time the Soviets had dismantled Stalin's gulags, and the Soviet collapse in 1990, the numbers of political prisoners, torture victims, and executions of nonviolent political dissenters in Latin America vastly exceeded those of the Soviet Union and its East European satellites. In other words, from 1960 to 1990, the Soviet bloc as a whole was less repressive, measured in terms of human victims, than many individual Latin American countries [under direct sway of US Empire] ("The Cold War in Central America", pp. 216 - 221).
    What was true for Latin America was true for around the world: massive human rights abuses, assassinations, regime changes of democratically elected governments, etc., etc., etc. orchestrated by US Empire. Yet Americans invariably have wanted it both ways: to be seen as the exemplary "City on A Hill" that upholds universal human rights and democracy, while operating a brutal Empire directly contrary to all such elevated values, and a concomitant rapacious Empire market economy that takes no prisoners. This began of course even before the founding of the United States of America and continued apace, in its mass slaughter and dispossession of indigenous peoples, in its brutal system of slavery on which its obscene wealth in the textile industry in the first place was built. "The Land of the Free" conceit was a sustained con job on the part of America's leaders. It was also apotheosis of hypocrisy. American exceptionalism was/is true in one respect only: it was brutal like no other Empire in its eventual global reach.
  4. [5]
  5. [4] The highlighted article about renowned whistle-blower Daniel Ellsberg points to again what is utterly chilling, horror-filled, exponentially beyond immoral, American (hence the world's) reality: "Daniel Ellsberg: U.S. Military Planned First Strike On Every City In Russia and China … and Gave Many Low-Level Field Commanders the Power to Push the Button". [5]He has since written The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner. Of it we read:
    Shortlisted for the 2018 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction Finalist for the California Book Award in Nonfiction The San Francisco Chronicle's Best of 2017 List In These Times “Best Books of 2017” Huffington Post's Ten Excellent December Books List LitHub's “Five Books Making News This Week” From the legendary whistle-blower who revealed the Pentagon Papers, an eyewitness exposé of the dangers of America's Top Secret, seventy-year-long nuclear policy that continues to this day. Here, for the first time, former high-level defense analyst Daniel Ellsberg reveals his shocking firsthand account of America's nuclear program in the 1960s. From the remotest air bases in the Pacific Command, where he discovered that the authority to initiate use of nuclear weapons was widely delegated, to the secret plans for general nuclear war under Eisenhower, which, if executed, would cause the near-extinction of humanity, Ellsberg shows that the legacy of this most dangerous arms buildup in the history of civilization--and its proposed renewal under the Trump administration--threatens our very survival. No other insider with high-level access has written so candidly of the nuclear strategy of the late Eisenhower and early Kennedy years, and nothing has fundamentally changed since that era.
  6. [6]A classic instance of this aligning with "just war" is the United States' "war on drugs" as subset of "war on crime", while at the same time the CIA was a major worldwide drug dealer in league with other drug cartels -- all done to enhance American Empire during the Cold War -- and continues to the present. The four-part series mentioned below connects American Empire drug dealing to the current War on Terror, in particular in Afghanistan. This of course is colossal hypocrisy as well. Worse: the series posits American federal government administrations over many decades as the Ultimate Drug Cartel, with Blacks, Latinos, and generally the poor directly being knowingly poisoned en masse. Then they have been primary targets of the Drug Enforcement Agency, and thereby become victims of America's too often savage prison system that oppresses and brutalizes them all over again... See: "The War on Drugs Is a Failure, So [Attorney General] Jeff Sessions Is All for It". A citation from the article reads:
    In June [2017], the History Channel aired a four-part documentary series called America’s War on Drugs.” The series asserts that the war on drugs was actually a war of drugs—and that the CIA was essentially a partner in spreading drugs and drug use. The series follows how the U.S. intelligence agency, in an obsession with fighting communism, allied itself with U.S. organized crime and foreign drug traffickers and includes firsthand accounts from many involved. In an interview with Truthdig columnist Sonali Kolhatkar on her radio program “Rising Up With Sonali,” the series’ executive producer, Anthony Lappé, explains why the CIA got involved:
    It’s actually a pretty mind-blowing story when you look at the extent to which the CIA was involved with drug traffickers and drug trafficking throughout the Cold War. … If you look at Cold War policy against the Soviet Union, we were locked in a global battle for supremacy, where we have lots of proxy wars going on. … We needed to team up with local allies, and often the local allies we were teaming up with were people who had access to guns, who had access to underground networks, to help us fight the perceived threat of communism. There are actually a lot of similarities between what drug traffickers do and what the CIA does.
    Lappé elaborates by saying the hypocrisy of the war on drugs has been evident from the start: Secret CIA experiments with LSD helped fuel the counterculture movement, leading to President Richard Nixon’s crackdown and declaration of the war on drugs. The series also explores the CIA’s role in the rise of crack cocaine in poor black communities and a secret island “cocaine base.” In addition the documentary makes the connection between the war on drugs, the war on terror and the transformation of Afghanistan into a narco state and contends that American intervention in Mexico helped give clout to Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán and the super cartels, making it easier to send drugs across American borders. Watch Kolhatkar’s full interview with Lappé by clicking here. Please also see the now classic: The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade, by noted American historian Alfred McCoy. Of it we read:
    The first book to prove CIA and U.S. government complicity in global drug trafficking, The Politics of Heroin includes meticulous documentation of dishonesty and dirty dealings at the highest levels from the Cold War until today. Maintaining a global perspective, this groundbreaking study details the mechanics of drug trafficking in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and South and Central America. New chapters detail U.S. involvement in the narcotics trade in Afghanistan and Pakistan before and after the fall of the Taliban, and how U.S. drug policy in Central America and Colombia has increased the global supply of illicit drugs.
    To be noted as well is Johann Hari's Chasing The Scream, which tells the tragic tale of America's long-standing offensive against drugs, and the way to end such a war worldwide -- that several nations are successfully embracing.

Editor

Wayne Northey was Director of Man-to-Man/Woman-to-Woman – Restorative Christian Ministries (M2/W2) in British Columbia, Canada from 1998 to 2014, when he retired. He has been active in the criminal justice arena and a keen promoter of Restorative Justice since 1974. He has published widely on peacemaking and justice themes. You will find more about that on this website: a work in progress.

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