Source: (1996) In: B. Galaway and J. Hudson (eds.), Restorative Justice: International Perspectives. Monsey, NY: Criminal Justice Press, pp. 117-133.

This chapter approaches restorative justice from the perspectives of Emile Durkheim, Karl Marx, and Michel Foucault. Restorative justice practices are compared and contrasted with more conventional sanctions, and a variety of issues are raised for restorative justice advocates to consider. These issues include the questionability of satisfying community outrage through restorative practice; the need to address underlying contradictions; the potentialities for co-optation, goal displacement, and net-widening; and a need to overcome the alienation of community members from punishment processes. Any response to crime is founded upon and guided by emotionally-laden moral values. Restorative justice is a desirable alternative to traditional sanctions to the degree that the values which inform restorative justice can be realized in practice.