....Although more commonly employed in some eras and cultures (forms of restorative justice never disappeared in many indigenous societies), reparation and informal settlement processes, as well as formal and informal restitution and other reparative sanctions (e.g., community service) have nonetheless persisted at some level alongside retributive punishment throughout Western history.

In the past two decades, restorative justice has become a growing international movement. Indeed, restorative justice was the basis for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa and even became part of post-genocide reconciliation in Rwanda. Restorative practices have also become popular in schools and universities as an alternative to suspension and expulsion.

While restorative justice led to new policy in a number of states and prompted statutory change in juvenile justice codes in 35, U.S. policymakers have clearly lagged the rest of the world, and restorative justice in many states (including Florida) is used only sporadically. The good news is that many citizens who learn about restorative justice support it, as well as many criminal justice decision makers — including prosecutors, judges, public defenders, police officers and victims’ advocates.

Read the whole entry.