The conceptual relationship between restorative justice and punishment has already attracted a great deal of attention in the literature. A similarly rich body of work has considered the two main aims of punishment, retributivism and reductivism, in relation to criminological theories. It is surprising, therefore, that relatively little (direct) attention has been paid to the relation between restorative justice and theories of crime. This paper first reviews the concept of restorative justice, and then examines the affinities and tensions between restorative justice and three 'individual' criminological theories: classicism, individual positivism, and 'law and order' conservatism. These theories have been selected because of their significance in the development of present criminal justice policies. Author's abstract.