Source: (2001) In Bringing restorative justice to adolescent substance abuse, ed. Kathryn G. Herr. Special issue of Youth & Society 33 (December), 133-142. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

As the authors point out, the juvenile justice system is handling more and more youth offenders with substance abuse issues. Numerous studies document the extent of experimentation with drugs and alcohol among young people, as well as the early age at which many begin. These realities have led to an increase in substance-abuse disorders and associated problems, with the result that many such young people often intersect with the juvenile justice system. Treatment options in the justice system are inadequate in quantity and effectiveness; more and better options are needed. Hence, the authors point to restorative justice – with its emphasis on crime as harm, and justice as the effort to repair the harm – for the possibility of new and better approaches to substance abuse treatment for youth offenders.