John Blad, Professor of Law at University of Rotterdam, Netherlands, and editor of the Dutch Journal for Restorative Justice, discusses the Dutch criminal justice system’s increasingly punitive character, which he believes has caused higher incarceration rates. He argues the case for restorative justice, which “builds authentic, constructive relationships to deal with both the consequences and the causes of offending behavior.” This is a plenary speech from the IIRP’s 2003 conference, in Veldhoven, Netherlands.