Source: (2004) address presented at the conference on Strategies to Combat Overcrowded Prisons. Pretoria, South Africa. 15 September.sharing will be drawn from those discussions last week. In essence I’m going to argue that we should adopt restorative justice as the prevailing frame of reference in our criminal justice system adding, to some of the voices that were raised in that regard yesterday. I contend that this will help us not to send people to prison that should not be there. A few people raised the question yesterday what do we mean when we say that - why shouldn’t people be there and how do we define that? But I hope to make some suggestions regarding that. I also think that restorative justice will help us to prevent those who do go to prison not to go back there again afterwards. Most important I will be saying something about the role of civil society and the point that we believe that civil society has a very critical role to play in the use of restorative justice programmes (excerpt).