Source: (2004) In, Anthony Bottoms, Sue Rex, et al. eds., From Alternatives to Prison: Options for an Insecure Society.Devon, UK and Portland OR: Willan Publishing. Pp. 162-194.

In the United Kingdom, there has been growing interest in the potential of restorative justice. Restorative justice is used to denote approaches that aim to hold offenders accountable for their offenses while seeking to repair the harm visited upon victims by the commission of the offense. However, the provision of restorative and reparative initiatives is currently uneven and is characterized by the inclusion of a number of fairly disparate initiatives. Because of these many different schemes, the practice of restorative justice is now somewhat removed from its underlying theory. From this review, it is possible to conclude that criminal justice responses that are reparative or restorative offer some promise over approaches that are more explicitly concerned with punishment. There is evidence that these approaches often achieve other, equally or more important, aims. This chapter focuses on the operation and effectiveness of community disposals that enable offenders to make reparation for their offenses, as well as approaches premised upon restorative justice. The principal focus is on community service, mediation and reparation, and group conferencing. Abstract courtesy of National Criminal Justice Reference Service,