Should criminals be able to avoid jail time by saying sorry?
3,500 incidents of violent crime were dealt with via community resolution and restorative justice in Greater Manchester alone last year.
The Manchester Evening News says sex offenders, arsonists, harassers and people who have threatened to kill are among those who have been allowed to apologise rather than spending time in jail.
This pattern is mirrored across the country and some say it's a good way to deal with the problem of heaving prisons. But is it a fair system?
Joining us in the studio today was Jonathan Aitken, the former Conservative MP who served a prison sentence for perjury and perverting the course of justice and now writes extensively on restorative justice. Next to him was Leroy Logan, a retired Met Police superintendent, who feels this is a soft option that sends out the wrong message.