Source: (2004) In Criminal Justice: Retribution vs. Restoration. Journal of Religion & Spirituality in Social Work 23(1/2): 111-131.

Restorative Justice is coming into focus for many faith communities as an important shift in response to crime. This paper examines the history of our response to crime and describes the response of a number of faith communities. Extended treatment is given to the November 2000 statement by the United States Catholic Bishops, Responsibility, Rehabilitation and Restoration: A Catholic Perspective on Crime and Criminal Justice. Their approach to crime and criminal justice is reviewed, including a special emphasis on the Catholic Church’s teaching on the option for the poor and includes policy recommendations for church and society. Examples of activity at the local, state and national levels are given. The paper documents some effects of the bishops’ statement on community and legislative activity at the local, state and national levels. Author’s abstract.