Source: (1999) In Community forgiveness and restorative justice: Essays from the criminal justice system and the peace movement, ed. Robert D. Enright, 16-20. Issue 8 of The World of Forgiveness 2 (May). Madison, Wisconsin: International Forgiveness Institute.

In this essay, John Gehm begins by sketching and comparing the basic paradigms of restorative justice and retributive justice. He then observes that many proponents of restorative justice advocate direct or indirect dialogue between victims and offenders -- victim-offender mediation. In such dialogue, issues of apology and forgiveness often arise. With all of this in mind, Gehm explores the question of the 'appropriate' role of forgiveness in these victim-offender encounters, and the role of forgiveness in restorative justice theory, with particular reference to the significance of penance.