Source: (2003) In, United Nations Asia and Far East Institute for the Prevention of Crime and Treatment of Offenders. Pp. 180-211.

Historically, reactions to criminal offenses were strictly punitive in nature; a fine or a prison punishment, or both were imposed on offenders. Then came the introduction of a rehabilitation model to complement the penal approach of incarcerating offenders. In more recent years, victimology research has shifted the focus from the offender to the victim and the consequences of victimization. This focus on victims has led to the emergence of a restorative approach to justice that broadens the aims and practices of offender punishment. The focus of the current paper is on the development of a restorative approach within the sentencing and punishment process. Following an introduction in section 1, section 2 offers an overview of the community sanctions and measures (CSM) available to Belgium’s adult offenders. CSM’s include fines, community release, provisional release, suspension of sentence, and penal transaction. Despite the many choices available for community sanctions in Belgium, they are rarely used compared to what is legally possible. The exception is the fine, which comprises about 70 percent of all sentences. Section 3 discusses the influence of victimology on the development of a restorative approach to justice. The role of international organizations in supporting the development of a victim-centered justice is described as the work of particular organizations, such as the Council of Europe, are enumerated. Section 4 turns to an examination of the Belgium pilot project on restorative detention, which has been active in 6 Belgium prisons since 1998. The restorative approach to prison punishment involves the challenge of imbibing imprisonment with a victim-focused and restorative orientation. Restorative prison activities are discussed and involve the key goal of involving the community, or the "periphery of the prison," in the restorative approach. Abstract courtesy of National Criminal Justice Reference service,