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Reducing the Use of Imprisonment and Alternatives to Detention

Dissel, Amanda
June 4, 2015

Source: (2003) Proceedings of the Pan- African Confernce on Penal and Prison Reform in Africa. London: Penal Reform International. Pp. 161-170.

At the outset of this paper, Amanda Dissel reports that almost every prison in Africa is occupied to capacity, and many are occupied beyond capacity. The living conditions of most of them are very poor; rehabilitation, as an actual program, is largely nonexistent. Yet governments and societies continue to support the penal system as it is. Dissel argues that prisons may keep some offenders locked up for some time, but they prevent very few people from further engagement in crime upon release from incarceration. In response, she contends that models should be sought and promoted to keep as many individuals from the harms induced by prisons themselves. Hence, she explores non-prison options for dealing with crime. Along with this, she looks at other notions of justice within a restorative and traditional context.


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