Restorative justice is a forward-looking, preventive response that strives to understand crime in its social context (Maiese, 2003). It examines the root causes of violence and crime to break these cycles of crime.
This approach is based on the assumption that crime has its origins in social conditions, and recognizes that offenders themselves have often suffered harm. Therefore, offenders can tell their story of why the crime occurred and, just like the victims, offenders can relate how the crime has affected their lives.
Restorative justice holds that communities must both take some responsibility for remedying those conditions that contribute to crime and also work to promote healing.
Maise, M. (2003, October). The aims of restorative justice. http://www.beyondintractability.org/essay/restorative_justice/
Restorative justice. Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Restorative_justice#Cases_unsuitable_for_restorative_justice.