Source: (2000) Virginia Journal of Social Policy & the Law. 8: 263.

In recent decades, as public awareness has risen and reporting of incidents has increased, domestic violence has grown into a major issue in law and social policy. According to Sherman, it is far from clear that increased criminalization of domestic violence has actually reduced the associated individual and social harms. A number of social policy approaches have been initiated to combat the harms of domestic violence – many focusing on deterrence strategies such as more severe sanctions, including increased incarceration – but Sherman believes they are unlikely to succeed. In this context, Sherman points to restorative justice as an alternative to incarceration. He considers key questions about the viability of restorative justice as a strategy for reducing the harms associated with domestic violence.