A well-crafted piece in the Economist about localism in law enforcement, how restorative justice works in certain cases, and — of course, the impediments faced by RJ advocates from the “Tough on Crime” crowd:
SOME time ago four teenage boys and a ten-year-old stole a keg of beer. Once stewed in drink, they set about tormenting livestock, stoning cows and pushing terrified sheep over a hedge. The police wanted the boys in court, charged with animal cruelty. A duty prosecutor had other ideas. Worried about ruining young lives forever with a criminal record, he offered a deal involving apologies and a few days of unpaid work. The case was kept confidential from locals, the press and even the boys’ schools.