Source: (2000) Contemporary Justice Review 3(4): 415-432

While restorative justice has shown itself to be a concept and a process worthy of our attention for responding to harm situations, we need to pay strict attention to the various meanings assigned to restorative justice in order to distill exactly what we mean by it. What is essential to its meaning and what is not? This will require strict attention to the definition of concepts such as “communityâ€? and the “stateâ€? as well as research of restorative justice programs to determine what exactly is taking place under the aegis of restorative justice. Debate over the meanings and models of restorative justice needs to take place in the open so that we can all benefit from the values proponents of restorative justice espouse and reflect in the programs they administer.