The general aim of this work is to examine the main features of some of the most influential contemporary theories of criminal justice, to look at their conceptual and methodological relative advantages and shortcomings, and to try to glean in them a direction for the devising of a more promising, more optim ising way of accounting for crime and deviance, as well as for prospects of successful social control. The general contention of the work is that the key question to be asked in this respect is what value ought to lie at the base of all such explanatory attempts. The general answer, with which the 'restorative theory of crime-handling', espoused herein, deals, is that this value ought to be trust. All those arrangements which can generally be characterised as trust-enhancing appear to be optimising as well, and to contribute in a constructive way to the resolution of conflicts. Punishment, on the other hand, does not appear to be trust-enhancing; on the contrary, it seems to play an essentially trust-degrading role in most contexts, and thus creates an atm osphere and consequences which do not suggest the possibility of both effective and humane social control mechanisms. It has been the aim of theories of social control for decades to avoid excessive punitiveness and maximise the consensus which is built around the particular policies to that effect. Yet, most such theories have ended up neglecting the role of trust, and em phasising justice instead. Another contention of the arguments contained herein is to the effect that justice ought not to play such a prom inent role in any theory of social control which aspires to be trust-enhancing. Following the unavoidable directions of argum ents advanced over decades, the argum ents herein deal with theories such as 'retributivism ' and 'utilitarianism ', 'com m unitarianism ' and 'republicanism ', thereby bordering on political, and even on sociological theory. Yet, they do not remain on the level of presenting argum ents for and against these theories - the value of what is argued here against such theories, if there is any value in it, lies in its contribution to the fuller illum ination of the real role of trust in a social theory of crime-control which would derive strongly from the popular 'conflict-resolution' theories, but which, at the same time, would seek to avoid some of their greatest calam ities. To w hat extent this w ork m ight have succeeded in accomplishing that end, however, is, of course, up to the reader to judge.