Source: (2003) In, United Nations Asia and Far East Institute for the Prevention of Crime and Treatment of Offenders Japan. Annual Report for 2002 and Resource Material Series No. 61. New York, NY: United Nations Publications.

Section 1 discusses changing criminal justice sanctions that occur before the trial. Changes in the discretionary powers of prosecutors is examined as the author illustrates that the current trend in European countries widens the power of prosecutors. Section 2 discusses the possibilities and pitfalls of the various new community sanctions throughout Europe, with an emphasis on the criminal justice system policies of Sweden and Finland. New alternatives to incarceration are classified according to their goal and emphasis and are compared to traditional alternatives to incarceration. In the area of supervision and support, new alternatives include intensive probation while traditional alternatives offer conditional imprisonment and suspended sentences. New alternatives that focus on restitution and community involvement include victim-offender mediation, family group conferences, and healing circles. The limitations and possible pitfalls of these new alternatives are discussed, as are the pre-conditions for their success.Finally in section 2, mediation practices in Norway and Finland are explored. Section 3 looks at incarceration alternatives that occur at the sentencing phase, such as restrictions on the use of imprisonment, amendments to recidivism rules, and restrictions on the use of predictive sentencing. Section 4 explores parole and early release programs through an examination of the key points of parole policies and their benefits, as well as the use of amnesties. Abstract courtesy of National Criminal Justice Reference Service, www.ncjrs.org.