Source: (1998) Cape Town: South African National Institute for Crime Prevention and the Reintegration of Offenders

Diversion programs were established in South Africa on a fairly informal basis in the early 1990s by the National Institute for Crime Prevention and the Reintegration of Offenders (NICRO) and Lawyers for Human Rights. Proponents of diversion have advocated for its expansion, including making it a cornerstone of juvenile justice and decongesting the criminal justice system. Yet, there is little properly documented research on the effectiveness of diversion programs in reducing crime in South Africa. NICRO therefore provided the setting for a longitudinal study of diversion clients. This document presents the results of that study. It covers the following topics: a description of NICRO diversion programs and statistics; the research aims and method; recidivism; a profile of respondents to the research survey; feedback from interviews with clients; a profile of recidivists; and conclusions based on the study.