Source: (2011) In, William J. Chambliss, ed, Courts, Law, and Justice. Key Issues in crime and Punishment. Los Angeles: Sage Publications. PP. 215-229.

Primarily, restorative justice seeks to include victims in their own cases, ideally in settings that afford them the possibility of meeting with those who have harmed them, and more generally toward the goal of repairing these harms. Restorative justice also seeks to provide opportunities for offenders to be accountable for these harms; to make amends to those they have harmed, when possible; and to reintegrate into their communities after they have made amends. Finally, restorative justice seeks to include local communities into justice processes to the extent that they may help support victims, provide opportunities for offender reintegration, and when possible, participate in the shaping of justice policies and community approaches to crime. In the last three decades, restorative justice has moved from an alternative or peripheral position in justice practices to one that has gained both credibility and widespread use in the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and elsewhere. The concept of restorative justice rests on some basic theoretical positions and assumptions, and is used in a variety of restorative interventions and programs. Further, proponents and critics alike have analyzed the strengths (pros) and weaknesses (cons) of this approach to justice. (excerpt)

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