Source: (2005) Criminology & Public Policy. 4(1): 101-102.

Restorative justice is a new movement contained within an old idea. The old idea is that justice requires of people who victimize others to "make right" what they have done by restoring the victim's losses. The new movement is a worldwide panoply of new programs, initiatives, and special projects aimed to restore victims by having those who wronged them repair the harm. The swiftness with which restorative justice and related strategies have captured the imagination of justice system reformers is striking. No more than 20 years ago, these kinds of programs would be considered "fringe" ideas, falling well outside the mainstream of the concern of justice officials. Today, concepts associated with restorative justice principles—community participation, victim-offender interaction, reparative sanctions, and so forth—are a firm part of mainstream justice system priorities. Two worthy questions arise. First, why is there, today, such an outbreak of interest in restorative justice? And second, how well have these new restorative programs worked? (excerpt)