Source: (1994) In: A. Duff, S. Marshall, R.E. Dobash, et. al. (eds.), Penal Theory and Practice: Tradition and Innovation in Criminal Justice. Fulbright Papers, volume 15. Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press, pp. 231-244.The author argues that one of the main reasons why reparation programs have failed to live up to the more optimistic claims made by some of its supporters is because until now it has lacked a coherent theoretical foundation. Also, a convincing theoretical justification for the practice is now to be found in John Braithwaite's recent theory of reintegrative shaming. Also, if such a theory were to be adopted it would entail some major changes in the way reparation is currently performed. Finally, this paper offers a brief sketch of the potential role that reparation might play in a criminal justice system that was reformulated around the goal of restorative rather than retributive justice.