Source: (1992) In: H. Messmer and H.-U. Otto (eds.), Restorative Justice on Trial: Pitfalls and Potentials of Victim-Offender Mediation: International Research Perspectives. Dordrecht, NETH: Kluwer Academic Publishers, pp. 525-540.

After reviewing some of the flaws in the existing system of justice based on retribution and rehabilitation, the paper proposes that societyís response to crime should have a single primary aim, and that this should be to restore the harm done to the victim or to the community. It is argued that restorative justice, combined with a strategy for crime reduction, would meet the aims of the traditional system while avoiding many of the harmful side-effects of punishment. Some practical and theoretical aspects of introducing restorative justice into the existing system are considered, together with the need for feedback and evaluation, and incremental implementation.