Source: (2000) Australian Journal of Professional and Applied Ethics. 2(1): 41-53The growing prominence of restorative justice interventions necessitates a reconceptualization of criminal justice in terms of a new paradigm. The most plausible candidate for this is an empowerment paradigm of justice. However, an averarching theory of criminal justice in these terms needs to be complemented by more fine-grained theoretical explanations of how and why conventional and alternative criminal justice interventions work the way they do. The paper discusses four such explanations: (1) Reversal of moral disengagement; (2) Social and moral development; (3) Emotional and moral psychological healing; (4) Reintegrative Shaming.