Restorative justice has started to evolve based on the need for healing relationship as opposed to the criminal justice under which the hurt is balanced to hurt (Braithwaite, 157). The aim of the restorative justice is to create the process when all of the parties have the opportunity to be heard with respect to their views of the crime and development of the program to restore victims, offenders and the communities. According to Andrew Ashworth, restorative justice is the process when victims and offenders collectively decide on how to deal with the consequences of the crime and its impact on the future (164).
Restorative justice has the aim of fully attending the needs of the victims, not only material and financial, but as well as emotional and social and preventing the possibility of potential re-offending through the integration of young offenders into the community again. Through restorative justice offenders learn how to assume the responsibility for their actions and become the part of the working community. Therefore, victims and offenders are the two major parties of attention. The society tends to reject criminals and it is completely understood - nobody wants to risk and guess whether he/she can become the next victim. For this reason people do not want to associate with those who have problems with the law. Victims are not always willing to share their emotions because of fear to be misunderstood and rejected by the society. Both parties feel being idle in society and restorative justice helps both offenders and victims to become active community members again.
Restorative justice is relatively new concept and has become a matter of public attention only 25 years ago when there were many developments in the direction of victim's rights protection (Ashworth, 165). Through the history restorative justice has been expressed through different forms. For example, in 1980 the victims and offenders were enabled to meet each other in the presence of the mediator and victims could express their feelings and the resulting changes in life. The offender, in return, could try to explain the offence, to apologize and even to promise a reparation (Ashworth, 165-6). The other forms of restorative justice include family group conferences (the community led communication process with the participation of victim, offender, and their families), sentencing circles (similar to the family group conferences but the greater emphasis is being made on the role of the community), restorative cautioning (the aim is to elicit an apology of the offender), and regulatory restorative justice.
Despite of variety of forms restorative justice is working through, all of them are based on the core principles - the participation is voluntary for both victim and offender. Moreover, the parties are able to opt out of restorative justice and to veto the outcome of the conference (Ashworth, 166). In addition, the community representatives play an important role in the processes of restorative j