Source: (2005) Pepperdine Dispute Resolution Journal. 5(2): 299-324.

Restorative Justice theorists and practitioners assert that censuring the offender’s criminal behavior and its deleterious effect on the victim without stigmatizing him will engender empathy for the victim and accountability in the offender, thus reducing recidivism. Whether participation in a single VOM can accomplish such far-reaching foals has been the subject of much debate in restorative justice circles. This paper suggests that a thorough understanding of – together with shame-reducing VOM practices and post-offender shame-reduction ‘recovery’ programs – are absolutely necessary if restorative justice is to achieve its rehabilitative goals. (excerpt)