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Restorative Justice in Prisons: An Option for South Africa?

Giffard, Chris
June 4, 2015

Source: (2002) Track Two. 11(2). Downloaded 4 March 2003.

In general, claims Chris Giffard, restorative justice is used as an alternative to imprisonment. Does this mean that prisons and restorative justice are mutually exclusive? While most restorative justice thought and effort have gone into its application as a means of addressing crime in the community rather than through punitive incarceration, there have been initiatives to develop a restorative justice approach within the context of the prison itself. Prison-based restorative justice, Giffard says, has certain key components: transformed relationships within the prison; restorative interaction between victims and offenders; restoration or reparation by the offender; and relationships between the community and the prison. Giffard highlights some prison-based restorative justice projects around the world, and then turns to the possibilities of such an approach in South African prisons.


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