The evolution of restorative justice has been a process of discovery rather than invention (McCold 2000). Practice continues to lead theory as a physics of social transformation reveals itself. The near simultaneous discovery of restorative processes in far-flung corners of the globe from wholly independent sources supports this view (see McCold 1996; Weitekamp 1999). For example, family group conferences (FGCs) in New Zealand and sentencing circles in Canada arose during the late 1980s, both based on indigenous people’s needs and practices, after the previous decade’s development of victim-offender mediation (VOM) and victimoffender reconciliation programs (VORP). But if these emerging restorative justice practices are to improve and if others are to learn from their discovery, then the social sciences can play an important role by providing description, theory and evaluation.