Source: (2000) Paper presented at the Fourth International Conference of the International Network for Research on Restorative Justice for Juveniles. Tübingen, Germany, 1-4 October.

McCold and Wachtel maintain that the rise of restorative justice practices has preceded theory. Nevertheless, the social sciences have a vital role to play in providing description, theory, and evaluation. Assertions about what constitutes good practices should be tested; that is, the scientific method (proposing and testing theoretical concepts) should play a critical role in developing a valid restorative justice theory. Toward that end, in this paper the authors aim to test the validity of key hypotheses derived from restorative justice theory with currently available research.