Source: (2008) International Journal of Restorative Justice. 4(2):80-99.

Certain proponents of restorative justice practice have maintained that offender rehabilitation can never be restorative given the coercive nature of this type of treatment intervention. Though it can be successfully argued that the history of offender rehabilitation in the United States has been identified by this coercive attitude, it would be incorrect to assume that this conclusion is the only result for such rehabilitative practices; neither can it be argued that restorative justice is equally vulnerable to some of the very some difficulties and ethical contradictions. In raising the question: Restore to What?; this article attempts to explore the relationship between restorative justice and offender rehabilitation practices by focusing on those aspects of restorative justice and offender rehabilitation which are in theoretical and practical conflict; it also provides a description concerning the ways in which offender rehabilitation can be viewed as both an authentically therapeutic practice, while at the same time allowing for a genuine restorative experience for the offender to occur. (author's abstract)