Questions concerning the use and misuse of restorative justice in the criminal justice system can be answered at a number of different levels. The first and most obvious response is to describe the aims of restorative justice, particularly from the standpoint of the victim. However, the existence of other aims also needs to be borne in mind since it cannot be taken for granted that they will all be compatible, whether in theory or in practice. A second response would be to look at the functions that restorative justice processes can perform and also the context within which they are used: whether they are restricted to certain types of offences, offenders and victims, and at what point in the criminal process they may operate. A third response would be to offer a strategic assessment of the way policy-makers have sought to utilise restorative justice processes as a means of reforming the criminal justice system focusing, in particular, on the scale of any such reformation. A fourth and final response would be to offer a political assessment of the broader policy objectives that restorative justice initiatives might be made to serve.