The Catholic Church teaches that punishment must have a constructive and redemptive purpose and that it be coupled with treatment and, when possible, restitution. Rehabilitation and restoration must include the spiritual dimension of healing and hope. Since the publication of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishop's 2000 pastoral statement on restorative justice, the conversation surrounding the need for criminal justice reform and restorative justice has moved forward. Redemption and Restoration responds from a Catholic perspective to help form an educational campaign to equip Catholics and their leaders to participate in the national conversation on this issue, create the programs needed to assist in healing the harm caused by crime, and restore our communities.
The book develops the traditional Catholic understanding of justice, offers a theological understanding of restorative justice, explains how it can be implemented, and reflects on the practical arguments for restorative justice. Grounded in the stories of real people, Redemption and Restoration helps readers gain a deeper understanding of how this affects us all as a country and a church. It includes discussion questions to engage groups in exploring issues related to restorative justice.