Source: (2009) University of La Verne Law Review. 31(1): 139-149.

In the last thirty years, restorative justice principles and practices have gained popularity in juvenile justice systems throughout the world. Restorative justice theories have come to influence juvenile justice systems in areas such as Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Israel, South Africa, and much of Western Europe. In 1989, New Zealand redesigned its juvenile justice system to require programs like mediation and family group conferencing. Since then, youth offenses have declined by approximately two-thirds in the nation. Restorative justice is also gaining popularity in the United States, although not as quickly as it is abroad. According to the National Survey of Victim Offender Mediation Programs in the United States conducted in 1998, at least twelve states had implemented, or were in the process of implementing,systematic changes in their juvenile justice systems to incorporate restorative justice practices. Despite these developments, many Americans are still unfamiliar with the concept of restorative justice. Favoring more retributive and punitive philosophies, some call it a "passing fad" or a "soft on crime" approach. In response to such criticism, scholars have attempted to rationalize restorative justice by placing it in a broad historical context.9 This Comment examines the history of restorative justice and discusses its usefulness for child advocates who wish to promote restorative justice principles in juvenile systems and codes. (Author's introduction).