top of page
making amends podcast



In Winter of 2020, Steve Herbert taught a course at the Oregon State Penitentiary titled ‘Making Amends.’ The class brought prisoners together to discuss what it means to do harm; how to be properly held accountable for doing harm; and how to make genuine efforts at atonement.  Classes met weekly for two hours. 


Several class readings were created by Professor Herbert and are provided below.  Feel free to share these widely.

CLASS 1 - How we do damage: Harms, wrongs, and their consequences

CLASS 2 - The emotions of harms and wrongs: Shame and guilt

CLASS 3 - The emotions of harms and wrongs: The victim's experience

CLASS 4 - Repairing wrongs I: Retribution, restitution, repentance 

CLASS 5 - Repairing wrongs II: Reconciliation



Making Amends hopes to inspire conversation about the purposes and practices of punishment, particularly in the United States.  It could serve as a useful supplement to a variety of courses focused on criminal justice policy.  Besides supplying the course readings and episode transcripts above, we also created discussion questions for each episode.  We hope you find them useful.  


If this resource proves useful to you, we kindly request that you provide a donation to help support Making Amends production efforts. 

for educators
about the class


Season 2 of Making Amends is in the making. Until then, we hope you continue to engage with justice involved members of your community and learn about the flaws of our criminal justice system. Here are a few of our favorites to get you started:


ear hustle.jpeg

A podcast about the daily realities of life inside prison shared by those living it, and stories from the outside, post-incarceration



A true story about the potential for mercy to redeem us, and a clarion call to end mass incarceration in America — from one of the most inspiring lawyers of our time.



A four-part documentary film series about a small group of incarcerated men and women struggling to earn college degrees and turn their lives around in one of the most rigorous and effective prison education programs in the U.S.


Screen Shot 2020-10-02 at 3.22.45 PM.png

A weekly newsletter of first-person essays from people who live or work in the criminal justice system, sent to your email each week, created by the Marshall Project. 

bottom of page