Kay Pranis is a national leader in restorative justice, specializing in peacemaking Circles. She served as the Restorative Justice Planner for the Minnesota Department of Corrections from 1994 to 2003. Before that, she worked six years as the Director of Research Services at the Citizen’s Council on Crime and Justice. She has written and presented papers on peacemaking Circles and restorative justice worldwide. Since 1998, Kay has conducted Circle trainings in a diverse range of communities—from schools to prisons to workplaces to churches, from rural farm towns in Minnesota to Chicago’s South Side.
In addition to many professional articles, Kay has authored and coauthored a number of books on Circles: Peacemaking Circles: From Conflict to Community(Living Justice Press, 2003), Circle Forward; The Little Book of Circle Processes: A New/Old Approach to Peacemaking (Good Books, 2005), and The Heart of Hope: A Guide for Using Peacemaking Circles to Develop Emotional Literacy, Promote Healing, and Build Healthy Relationships(Center for Restorative Justice at Suffolk University, Boston, Massachusetts (2010).
Kay has been working with Circles since 1996, helping to implement Circles in the adult and juvenile justice systems, schools, social services, workplaces, neighborhoods, mediation programs, churches and families. She has used Circles for conflict resolution and for community building in government agencies, community non-profits and universities.
Kay is one of the co-founders of Living Justice Press and has served on LJP’s board since its incorporation in 2002. For eight years, she also served as LJP’s Board Chair. Indeed, her work on the peacemaking Circle process and the shared desire to make the Circle work more broadly available were the motivations for founding LJP. Her book, coauthored with Judge Barry Stuart and Mark Wedge, entitled Peacemaking Circles: From Crime to Community, has become a core textbook and resource on the peacemaking Circle process. Now in multiple reprints, Peacemaking Circles has been translated into Ukrainian.
Kay has been an enduring mainstay of Living Justice Press from the start, giving generously of her time, gifts, energies, and resources. She carries LJP’s books to the Circle trainings she gives nationally and internationally. The Circle work is now spreading to schools, families, public planning, businesses, social services, government agencies, and faith communities. Her passion clearly lies with helping others discover how Circles can create healing, transformative, harm-mending, and community-building spaces in our lives and societies. We are immensely grateful that she is LJP’s Senior Editor for our publishing work on Circles.