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Restorative Justice and Sentencing

Articles and other resources on the issues and possibilities related to judges using restorative justice when imposing and (if necessary) enforcing sentences.

Wood, Catherine. Diversion in South Africa: A review of policy and practice, 1990-2003
Diversion initiatives in South Africa, writes Catherine Wood, have been practiced since the early 1990s. Since 1996 there has been a substantial expansion in the number of children referred to diversion programs. However, this has occurred in a more or less selective and disjointed fashion as there has been no legislative framework to regulate this development. In view of all of this, Wood in this paper reviews the policy and practice of diversion in South Africa in the 1990s and into the 2000s. She examines the concept of diversion and its introduction and development in South Africa, with reference to the drafting of the Child Justice Bill in 2002. She outlines the new procedures and mechanisms for diversion as proposed in the Bill. Then she analyses developments in the field of diversion that have taken place in South Africa since 1997 in preparation for implementation of the Bill.
Morris, M. Instead of Prisons: A Handbook for Abolitionists.
This handbook is written for those who feel it is time to say "no" to prisons as a long range goal, and to provide practical steps toward achieving the goal of prison abolition. This booklet includes materials by Fay Honey Knopp, Barbara Boward, Mary Jo Brach, Scott Christianson, Mary Ann Largen, Julie Lewin, Janet Lugo, Mark Morris and Wendy Newton. The 9 perspectives for prison abolitionists are presented. Chapters include consideration of abolitionism, demythologizing our views of prison, the attrition model for diminishing/dismantling the prison system, organizing a moratorium on prison/jail construction, plans to decarcerate and excarcerate, consideration of the "dangerous few" problem, envisioning a new response to crimes with victims, and community empowerment.
Watt, Emily. A history of youth justice in New Zealand.
The Children, Young Persons and Their Families Act 1989 revolutionised New Zealand youth justice practices, establishing an innovative set of principles and procedures to govern the response to young offenders, and to manage the role of the State in the lives of young people and their families. The founding objective of the legislation is ‘to promote the wellbeing of children, young persons, and their families and family groups’ (section 4). The Act thus seeks to empower families and communities, rather than professionals, in deciding the best measures to respond to offending behaviour in children and young people This report will explore the background to the youth justice provisions of the Act, both internationally and domestically, with the hope that an understanding of the system’s evolution will render a better insight into the principles behind this innovative piece of legislation. (excerpt)

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