Restorative justice stands for a philosophy and set of practices that have recently been introduced in the U.S. legal system. Practices of restorative justice respond to crime and conflict with rehabilitation, reconciliation, and dialogue, as opposed to punishment and retributive justice. In the present work I argue care ethics should be established as a philosophical and theoretical foundation for restorative justice. Such a foundation is necessary to recognize the importance of care in the practices of restorative justice, to which the success of the latter can be attributed. I demonstrate care ethics and restorative justice share values, sometimes implicit in restorative justice, by looking at several restorative practices and programs. I argue that implicit views in restorative justice, such as a relational view of persons and relational autonomy, should be made explicit and taken from care ethics in order to advance the theoretical foundation of restorative justice. The objection may be raised that a fully restorative justice system cannot be "fully" restorative if it occasionally uses of incarceration and hence that the idea that such a system is unrealistic. I will explain how restorative justice can overcome this objection by justifying the use of incarceration, not as a retributive practice, but as a practice justified by the values of restorative justice and care. On the other hand, care ethics can also benefit from taking a restorative view of justice. Care ethicists have held care and justice to be incompatible ethical frameworks; however, restorative justice demonstrates the contrary by incorporating care into its practices and values. Overall, recognizing care as a central value of restorative justice can ultimately allow us to imagine and realistically model a legal system based on care and restoration, instead of punishment and retribution.