Source: (2008) European Forum for Restorative Justice. 9(1):6-8.

A recent article in the Newsletter of the European Forum, 'Going South - The first outcomes of work in progress' grouped Italy among the Southern European nations - together with Greece, Malta, Spain, Portugal and Turkey - where "the actual implementation" of restorative justice (RJ) "is characterized by instability and a limited reach in comparison with Western and Northern European countries" (Casado, 2007:2). I will try to explain why the inclusion of Italy in this group is highly questionable on the basis of the comparative research I have conducted in the last decade. My first point is that Italy is some significant steps ahead in comparison with the above mentioned Southern nations...My second point is that the lack of norms cannot be considered as an indicator of a 'gap' for Italy or any other country...A third point is concerned with a common feature which emerged from our Grotius project: the existence in almost all nations of an umbrella agency/organization acting as the promoter of VOM initiatives, providing guidelines or standards, sometimes coordinating and funding local services and groups, and/or providing for the training of mediators etc...In conclusion, the expansion of RJ and VOM in Italy appears strongly affected by cultural and ideological factors. (Excerpt from author)