The core of Carson’s address to the Victorian Council of Social Services is reflected in the title: ‘Community, Cohesive Capital and Caution’ (2004c). His caution is against the fad of treating ‘community’ and its constituent social capital mechanisms as elixirs or panaceas for contemporary policy problems. In a world marked by globalised forces of change and fragmented personal experiences, the caché of old-fashioned community, ‘gemeinshaft’, or ‘small town’ life (as opposed to mass society) has an intuitive appeal (Vidich and Benson, 2000). In the area of crime control, there has been a social movement attached to the idea of ‘restorative justice’. This has been associated with the idea that the dominant models of justice in the common law countries have taken conflicts out of the hands of citizens and replaced their ‘ownership’ of crime with a retributive form of justice that is both ineffective and alienating (Christie, 1982). In Canada, restorative justice has become the lynchpin of the new Law Commission of Canada (LCC). Sentencing circles, victim-offender reconciliation and personal case management have become models of how to optimise judicial outcomes by increasing the participation of the community (LCC, 2003). With the search for fiscal conservatism and a shrinking public sector, the role of community and the voluntary sector is ideologically enlarged. However, as Carson notes, in the area of crime control, the effectiveness of community-based policies tends to be gainsaid.