Source: (1997) In Reconciliation International 4 (August). South Africa: Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation. Downloaded 2 June 2004.

Since the early 1990s, South Africa – faced with overcrowded prisons and the failure of prisons to prevent offending and re-offending – has sought alternative methods of punishment and criminal justice. In this article Amanda Dissel surveys efforts in South Africa to discover and implement alternatives to incarceration. Some attempts have occurred within the framework of the formal criminal justice system. In general these involve correctional supervision within the community and under the supervision and control of the Department of Correctional Services. Other more recent efforts, however, have included diversionary, restorative alternatives based in the community and not in the formal system. These initiatives focus on crime as harm, justice as healing, the centrality of the victim, offender accountability, and involvement of the affected parties (victim, offender, family, and community).