Source: (2003) Economy and Society. 32(4): 630-644.

As Declan Roche puts the matter, criminology has become a dismal field characterized largely by futility, by a sense that “nothing works." Even given various attempts at significant change, this mood of failure has been hard to shake, Roche asserts. However, not all are gloomy and miserable about criminal justice. Roche in particular points to restorative justice and its proponents as counterpoints to the punitiveness and despair of much thinking in criminology. The restorative justice perspective is generally infused with enthusiasm and hope about responding to crime. Roche cites two books as prime examples: Gerry Johnstones’ Restorative Justice: Ideas, Values, Debates (2002); and John Braithwaite’s Restorative Justice and Responsive Regulation (2003). Johnstone’s book provides a valuable introduction to the ideas and principles of restorative justice in a criminal justice context. Braithwaite’s book extends restorative justice to distinctly wider applications. Roche reviews the main arguments of these two books with respect to restorative justice and the following: restoration or repair of harm; accountability for offenders; mainstream justice; and social justice.