Criminal justice seems an implausible vehicle for reviving democracy. Yet democracy is in trouble. It is embattled by money politics and populist tyrannies of majorities, of which penal populism is just one variant. These pathologies of democracy arise from democracy having become too remote from the people. A new democracy is needed that creates spaces for direct deliberative engagement and for spaces where children learn to become democratic. A major role for restorative justice is one way to revive the democratic spirit through creating such spaces.