“Stealing Conflicts” No More?: The Gaps and Anti-Restorative Elements in States’ Restorative-Justice Laws

Lynn S. Branham, Saint Louis University School of Law


This Article first profiles key findings emanating from a statutory analysis of the close to two hundred criminal-justice-related, as well as juvenile-justice-related, statutory provisions in the United States that pertain to restorative justice and practices (RJ/RP). This section of the Article unveils significant gaps and other substantial problems in states’ restorative-justice laws, including ways in which some of them conflict with core restorative tenets. The Article then proffers seven recommended statutory provisions for states’ consideration when enacting or amending their own RJ/RP laws. These recommended provisions, combined with fidelity in their implementation, would help remedy or avert the gaps and anti-restorative elements this study found in existing restorative-justice laws in the United States.