Source: (2010) In, Wayne Taylor, Rod Earle, and Richard Hester, eds, Youth justice handbook: Theory, policy, and practice. Portland: Willan Publishing. pp. 123-131.

Restorative justice (RJ)is rooted in a wide range of community practices, most notably in the indigenous communities of Australia and New Zealand. What became known as "Aboriginal justice" in Australia and "Maori justice" in New Zealand addressed problems, including lawbreaking, collectively and informally. All relevant parties were involved in negotiations regarding how to respond appropriately to the offender and the harm he/she had done. RJ as originally conceived and practiced involved a restoration of the involved families and the harmed community has well as the offender's dignity, power, and freedom within the community. In England and Wales, interest in RJ principles is evident in the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999, which explicitly endorses RJ principles as part of sentencing options for courts involved in youth justice. Restorative conferencing, family group conferencing, and youth offender panels became options for the processing of juvenile cases. Overall, the effectiveness of RJ interventions have achieved significant benefits for both youth who have offended and their victims; however, there has been a trend toward reducing the number and characteristics of those involved in RJ proceedings. Questions are being raised about community support for and involvement in RJ proceedings. Although research on RJ has compared its practices with the formal justice processing of youth, there has been little research on the comparative effectiveness of various RJ models. Such research should determine how the involvement of various types of community representatives influence case outcomes. (Abstract courtesy of the National Criminal Justice Reference Service, www.ncjrs.gov).