Source: (2002) Criminal Justice Ethics 21 (Winter/Spring): 3-20.

Dzur and Wertheimer ask whether forgiveness is a social good that communities can advance through mediated public dialogue between crime victims and offenders? In addition to the personal and emotional dimensions of forgiveness, forgiveness also has communicative and social dimensions. According to Dzur and Wertheimer, these latter dimensions are at the forefront of restorative justice theory and practice. Hence, restorative justice is of interest to public theorists and ethicists because of questions about the link between public dialogue and positive emotional states such as the relaxing of resentment experienced in forgiveness. On this basis, the authors explore the theoretical justification for restorative justice, the central ideal of restorative communication, and public procedures required for this ideal. To make all of this concrete, they examine Vermont’s reparative probation program as a case example.