Justice from the Inside Up Releasing July – Pre-Order Now!

A Restorative Justice Education Facilitator’s Manual

By Felix B. Rosado, with Let’s Circle Up, Foreword by Kay Pranis

Living Justice PressSoftcover, lay-flat binding, 376 pages, ISBN 978-1-937141-27-1



Justice from the Inside Up provides a guide for restorative justice education. This facilitator’s manual was developed inside a Pennsylvania prison by the Let’s Circle Up project—a group of incarcerated men who found education about restorative justice to be a restorative practice, because it proved so transformative for so many.

Felix Rosado, now released from prison after 27 years, has made this way of learning about restorative justice in community available both to those still inside and to the public: schools, colleges, nonprofits, families, communities, and churches. Restorative justice education is, indeed, a restorative justice practice.


Let’s Circle Up (LCU) is a project of restorative justice education, but it is also a philosophy and movement. The LCU project holds that RJ  education, if done well, is also an RJ practice. When RJ education is experiential, interactive, and well facilitated, workshops that teach RJ can draw forth some of the same outcomes as other RJ practices.

These experiences can wake us up to the real impact of our harms, whether criminalized acts or not; they can assist in the healing process; they can guide us to rethink the concepts of crime, justice, and accountability in more personal and relational ways; and they can help us open up to ways of applying RJ values and principles to our own lives, so that we can address past harms and prevent future harms.

During our sixteen years of developing and facilitating RJ learning experiences at Graterford and SCI-Phoenix, and now outside, we have witnessed thousands of transformations—including our own. By carefully creating spaces that are safe enough, brave, and authentic, we each can dig deep into uncharted parts of ourselves and discover new ways to live healthier lives in relationship with ourselves and others. At every workshop, we hear people say that they had never before considered their actions through the perspectives of the people they harmed, their own families, or the community. We have found this to be a consistent outcome of our workshops within the prison experience and outside. We believe—and have seen—that the awakening that happens in our circles can lead to real change in ourselves and by extension in the world.

Motivated by a desire to put things more right, we are releasing this manual as our humble attempt to share with the world what we have learned from inside Graterford’s thirty-foot-high concrete and Phoenix’s razorwire-topped fences, and more recently in outside communities. We know there are no simple solutions to problems as complex as what to do when we humans hurt each other. However, we believe our workshops, created by people who were once frequent harm-doers, can, with a few small steps, pave new paths to healing and freedom. This manual is our way of practicing—indeed, of doing—RJ. This is our contribution, we hope, to a more just, more right world.

—Felix B. Rosado, in Justice from the Inside Up, p. 3



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