Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: May 28, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963930 | Print ISBN: 9781412941655 | Online ISBN: 9781412963930| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Ross D. London
During the past several decades, restorative justice has emerged as an important new approach to criminal justice theory and practice. It is based on the goal of repairing the harm of crime rather than the traditional criminal justice goals of assigning blame and imposing punishment for criminal transgressions. Advocates of restorative justice maintain that it is more than a program for reform; it is a new way of envisioning criminal justice that involves the victim, the offender, and the affected community in a search for solutions. Restorative justice practice generally consists of informal, voluntary face-to-face encounters among the victim, offender, and relevant community members, in which the parties come to greater understanding and empathy, offenders express remorse, and a plan for repairing the harm of crime is negotiated, resulting in an agreement that emphasizes reparative solutions such as restitution, apologies, and community service rather than punishment. The critical difference between ...