Amongst prosecutors, at least in France, there is a divergence of opinion about alternative procedures generally. Some see them as a means of extending formal social control where social controls have failed; some welcome them as a means of re-engaging the community by dealing with social conflict, especially relatively minor conflicts; others see them as tokenistic and ineffective unless they are properly resourced; while another group sees them as symbolic and only to be used when prosecution would never have been contemplated.

These views are probably reflective of prosecutors’ attitudes elsewhere in Europe. Nonetheless, it could be argued that the prospects for the development of restorative justice  are greater in some Europe jurisdictions than some adversarial jurisdictions particularly where the penal culture is relatively nonmoralistic, where there are relatively low imprisonment rates (e.g. France, Germany, Belgium, Italy and Spain) and where there is a willingness to use intermediate sanctions.

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