Restorative justice is an attempt to address some of the needs and limitations of the criminal justice system. Since the 1970s, a variety of programs and approaches have emerged in thousands of communities and many countries throughout the globe. Often these are offered as choices within or alongside the existing legal system. Starting in 1989, however, New Zealand has made restorative justice the hub of its entire juvenile justice system. Whether it will live up to this promise remains to be seen but in many circles today, restorative justice is considered a sign of hope and the direction of the future.


- Dr. Howard Zehr

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