Source: (2011) Youth Justice. 11(3): 250-265.

This article presents findings from in-depth, semi-structured interviews with young offenders and Victim Liaison Officers, and observations of youth offender panels. It focuses upon the attitudes of young offenders towards victims and their reactions to the prospect of meeting the victim of their offending face-to-face as part of their referral order. Significant tensions between the aspirations of restorative justice and the reality of present practice in the English system are examined. The article proposes change in relation to justice disposals for incipient young offenders, particularly in relation to the ubiquitous use of restorative justice approaches for this group. (author's abstract)