Belfast Free Library, in collaboration with the Restorative Justice Project of the Midcoast, will offer a two-part book discussion about the book “Returning to the Teachings” by Rupert Ross. The discussions will take place Tuesdays, Sept. 15 and 29, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the library, 106 High St.

Restorative justice is a social and global movement that addresses crime and wrongdoing as it affects and violates relationships. Its processes are offered in lieu of, or with, traditional justice modalities. What victims seek is for the individual who harmed them to be held accountable and to take responsibility toward repairing the harm they have caused. The current justice system often fails to provide this opportunity and fails to rehabilitate offenders.

In his bestselling book “Dancing with a Ghost,” Ross began his exploration of aboriginal approaches to justice and the visions of life that shape them. “Returning to the Teachings” takes his exploration further still; it is about aboriginal justice and speaks not only to the mind, but also to the heart and spirit. Above all, this book stands as a search for the values and visions that give life its significance and that any justice system, aboriginal or otherwise, must serve and respect.

The vision of Ross and other restorative justice advocates inspires and shapes the work of the Restorative Justice Project in its service to the community. The discussions will be facilitated by the former director of the Restorative Justice Project, Margaret Micolichek, MPA; and Barbara Blazej, M.Ed, a faculty member of the Peace & Reconciliation Studies Program at the University of Maine, Orono. Both Micolichek and Blazej serve as restorative practices trainers and consultants with the Restorative Practices Collaborative of Maine, as well as restorative conference facilitators for RJP.

Books are available to borrow from the Belfast Free Library in advance of the discussions; sign up at the main circulation desk or call 339-3884, ext. 10.

The book discussions at the library are part of a larger series of events organized by RJP to celebrate its 10 years of service. Justice Matters — When We Cry Out for Justice, What Do We Really Mean? events include theater, writers, book discussions and a keynote speech by author and restorative justice activist Ross Saturday, Oct. 17, from 5 to 9 p.m. at Point Lookout in Northport. For more information and a full schedule of events, visit

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or