Source: (2011) Contemporary Justice Review. 14(4):425-438.

A historical account of an early innovation in restorative practice in the UK is presented. It was initially developed as a juvenile diversion program, based on principles of offense resolution and minimum intervention. The projects, known as Juvenile Liaison Bureaux (JLBx), included representatives of five key agencies working with the target population, young offenders reported for crimes in the area (Northamptonshire), and their task was to respond with recommendations for action to all referrals of young people dealt with by the local police. They were explicitly required to put forward proposals, based on the responses of young people and the wishes of offense victims, for constructive responses to reported incidents. As a result, they became actively engaged in seeking out new ways of ‘putting things right.’ Restorative justice was not a widely known philosophy at the time, so, in effect the JLBx were engaged in an applied experiment to develop creative ways of dealing with the issues arising from problematic behavior of young people, in appropriate ways that did not unduly stigmatize or punish those concerned. As a result, the projects quickly became skilled in negotiating solutions in the interests of, and according to the wishes of those affected, while also enabling young people to acknowledge their own responsibilities and to take action accordingly. These successes have not been built upon effectively. (author's abstract)