by the state, but positively when punished by their own community. Based on this theory, restorative
justice conferences were initiated in Australia and New Zealand (Lokanan, 2009). Bazemore (1997, as
cited in Lokanan, 2009) observed that reintegrative shaming does not address the interests of victims.
Furthermore, Marshall (1999) advocated for a necessary confrontation between offenders and victims to
have the offender understand the harm he or she caused. As a result, victim-offender mediation programs
propagated throughout North America, Europe, and the South Pacific (Umbreit, Abrams, & Gordon,
According to the United Nations (2003, as cited in McCluskey, Lloyd, Stead, Kane, Riddel, &
Weedon, 2008: 200), restorative justice is “a problem-solving approach to crime that focuses on
restoration or repairing the harm done by the crime and criminal to the extent possible, and involves the
victim(s), offender(s) and the community in an active relationship with statutory agencies in developing a
resolution…”. For Bazemore and Schiff (2001: 7), restorative justice is a “new way of thinking”.
According to Bazemore and Walgrave (1999, as cited in Latimer et al., 2001: 1), restorative justice has
also been associated with “community justice, transformative justice, peacemaking criminology and
relational justice”. The restorative justice paradigm is based on the assumption that “crime is a violation
of people and relationships”, rather than a “violation of law” (Zehr, 1990, as cited in Latimer et al., 2001:
1). It is a response to crime that focuses on “bilateral discussion” in obtaining “a consensus about the
meaning of the offence and how to address the transgression” (Okimoto, Wenzel, & Feather, 2009: 156).
Connected more to the “concept of restoration” as a “valid third alternative” (Zehr, 1990, as cited in
Latimer, Dowden, & Muise, 2001: 1), restorative justice is more about “what happened, who has been
hurt, and what needs to happen to repair the harm” (Zehr, 1990, as cited in McCluskey et al., 2008: 201).
Through discussions among the victim, the offender, and the community, restorative justice focuses on
reparation and healing, rather than punishment (Latimer et al., 2001).
Some authors defined restorative as a process (Marshall, 1985; McCold, 2004; Zehr, 2002) while
others defined it as a result (Doolin, 2007). Restorative justice is defined as a “process whereby all the
parties with a stake in a particular offence come together to resolve collectively how to deal with t he
aftermath of the offence and its implications for the future" (Marshall, 1985, as cited in Braithwaite,
1999: 5). Analyzing Marshall’s work, Gavrielides (2005: 86) observed that this author’s reference to
restorative justice as a process was “not accidental”, but “carefully selected”. According to Marshall
(1999), restorative justice started as an experiment and then it developed theoretically as a result of the
interest of government. According to Zehr (2002: 37), restorative justice is also “a process to involve, to
the extent possible, those who have a stake in a specific offence and to collectively identify and address
harms, needs, and obligations, in order to heal and put things as right as possible”. Umbreit, Coates, and
Vos (2007) considered this definition remarkable for its realistic perspective on restorative justice.
McCold (2004) also considered it essential to define restorative justice as a process that could generate a
resolution, and not as the resolution itself. Further, Presser (2004) concluded that hoping that those
involved in the process of restoration will talk is what really matters. While analyzing thirty years of
practice and application of the victim-offender mediation program, Umbreit, Coates, and Vos (2004)
concluded that the importance of reaching an agreement was secondary compared to the importance of
having a dialogue between the parties. The same conclusion was reached in several other studies (Coates
& Gehm, 1989; Umbreit & Coates, 1993; Umbreit, 1995, as cited in Umbreit et al., 2004). Moreover, it
was observed that restorative justice cannot guarantee a particular result (Braithwaite, 2002).
In contrast, Doolin (2007) emphasized the importance of defining the notion by its outcomes rather
than by the process itself. On this note, Bazemore and Walgrave (1999, as cited in Doolin, 2007: 429)
chose to define restorative justice as “every action that is primarily oriented toward doing justice by
repairing the harm that had been caused by a crime.” The key element of restorative justice is, however,
to accept restoration as a main objective (Doolin, 2007). Restoration means repairing the harm caused by
the crime and the notion of harm includes material, physical losses, but also psychological injuries
(Doolin, 2007). By requiring offenders to participate in the process of dealing with their criminal
behaviour, restorative justice asks offenders to assume and repair the harm caused (Doolin, 2007). As a
result, Doolin (2007: 439-440) defined the notion of restorative justice by the following core values:
undertaking “to restore and empower victims”; recognizing that “a wrong has been committed”;
supporting offenders to accept responsibility and repair the harm caused while reintegrating them into the
community; emphasizing a need for the presence of those who will help victims to heal and offenders to
reintegrate, assessing restorative justice “in terms of the outcomes of restoration sought”; considering
coercion as an option in order to extend the applicability of restorative justice; accepting the idea of