A CRITICAL VIEW OF DIVERSION PROGRAMMES IN CONTEXT OF RESTORATIVE JUSTICE

  • A Shearar University of Cape Town
  • R Graser University of Cape Town
Keywords: life-skills diversion programmes, life-skills, child justice system, South African child justice system

Abstract

This article describes the background and purpose of life-skills diversion programmes for young offender and then critically explores to what extent they currently endorse theprinciples of restorative justice to which the new South African child justice system aspires.  Since the advent of the life-skills programmes for youths at risk, the child justice system has evolved into a comprehensive piece of legislation called the Child Justice Bill (Bill 49[2002]).  Central to this Bill is the promotion of re toralive justice, which seeks to repair damage caused by crime by returning criminal cases to the main players: the victim, the offender and the community. Through a process of negotiation, these players agree on appropriate solutions which include (]) restitution, (2) reconciliation following an acknowledgement of the circumstances around the offence and its impact, and (3) an acceptance of responsibility by the offender leading to reintegration into the community. Diversion options from criminal justice procedures are the key to installing restorative justice for crimes committed by young offenders. To date the most popular form of diversion has been life-skills programmes for youths at risk, but it is not evident to what extent this meets the criteria inherent in the philosophy of restorative justice.

Author Biographies

A Shearar, University of Cape Town
University of Cape Town, South Africa
R Graser, University of Cape Town
University of Cape Town, South Africa
Published
2005-04-25
How to Cite
Shearar, A., & Graser, R. (2005). A CRITICAL VIEW OF DIVERSION PROGRAMMES IN CONTEXT OF RESTORATIVE JUSTICE. Social Work/Maatskaplike Werk, 41(2), 155-162. https://doi.org/10.15270/41-2-1016
Section
Articles