Source: (2003) In, Kieran McEvoy and Tim Newburn,eds., Criminology, Conflict Resolution and Restorative Justice. Basingstoke, Hampshire, UK and New York, NY: Palgrave MacMillan. Pp. 135-152.

Restorative justice has grown significantly in the past twenty years. Programs that use restorative justice perspectives and values are quite diverse in nature and wide-ranging around the world. Some are state-controlled and annexed to the formal justice system; others are community-based and comparatively independent of formal justice structures; many consist of a mixed model. Given all of this, restorative justice faces a number of risks: vague and careless use of the term to cover so many things that it becomes a meaningless term; subversion of restorative justice practices and aims within punitive or retributive perspectives, systems, and goals; and more. In this context, Mika and Zehr assert the need for clear articulation of the principles and values of restorative justice if it is to stay true to its vision and potential. They further contend that new measures must be developed to gauge the authenticity and impact of restorative justice. All of this requires dialogue and collaboration among victims, offenders, communities, and justice processionals. Hence, they seek to identify fundamental principles of restorative justice and to explore their implications for such critical dialogue.