Source: (1995) Paper prepared for the Legal Research Foundation's Conference, Re-thinking Criminal Justice: a Conference on New Initiatives in Criminal Justice, 12 and 13 May, Auckland, New Zealand. Downloaded 2 November 2005.
In Fred McElrea’s perspective, the criminal justice system has been divorced from the community for far too long. Criminal justice is now largely conducted as a contest between the state and the defendant. The victim and the community to which the victim belongs have become marginal to the process. As a result, there is little incentive for individuals to take responsibility for the offending itself or for trying to make right the wrong. In contrast, restorative justice is a community-based approach which fosters acceptance of responsibility by all concerned. Additionally, it draws on community strengths to restore peace. From all of this, McElrea in this paper proposes a small but fundamental change to the criminal law to move toward restorative justice.