Source: (2001) Paper presented at the Restorative and Community Justice: Inspiring the Future conference, held in Winchester, England, 28-31 March.

According to John Braithwaite, citizens of Western societies have been pessimistic about crime for many decades. Against this, Braithwaite claims there are many reasons to be optimistic about prospects for reducing crime in the next several decades. To accomplish this reduction would require a greater commitment to social justice. It would also require a shift away from punitive justice, thus freeing resources for restorative justice and crime prevention. Indeed, asserts Braithwaite, restorative justice can provide a superior vehicle for crime prevention. To support this perspective, Braithwaite surveys the strengths of restorative justice theory and practice, as well as ways in which restorative justice can be improved to make it work even better than it currently does.