skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 221539 Find in a Library
Title: Restorative Justice: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow--Making Sense of Shifting Perspectives in Crime Control and Criminal Justice in South Africa
Journal: Acta Criminologica  Volume:20  Issue:1  Dated:2007  Pages:79-90
Author(s): H. Hargovan
Date Published: 2007
Page Count: 12
Document: PDF
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: South Africa
Annotation: After reviewing the history and characteristics of restorative justice (RJ), this paper considers its status in current criminal justice reforms in South Africa.
Abstract: Restorative justice is the term commonly applied to a variety of dispute-resolution practices that aim to achieve more desirable outcomes than conventional forms of punishment. It is not restricted to a particular form of program, but refers to any practice that has the following characteristics: an emphasis on the offender's personal accountability for the harms his/her crime has caused the victim and the community; an inclusive decisionmaking process that encourages participation by key parties in the dispute; and the goal of remedying the harm caused by the offense. RJ has been embraced in most Western states in one form or another. This development is closely linked to premodern, modernist, and postmodern perspectives on society's response to crime. Over the past decade, South Africa has initiated a surge of reforms through new legislation and policies, with a focus on vulnerable groups, mainly women and children. RJ is a long way from becoming the mainstream approach to justice in South Africa; however, it has attracted attention as part of the enthusiasm for reform. Although the influence of RJ is evident in government rhetoric, there is a lack of engagement with relevant stakeholders on how RJ may inform a more significant portion of justice system activity. There has been little effort to address the practical issues that must be confronted in the design and implementation of RJ concepts in specific program structures. Before this can occur, more research is required in analyzing the relevance of various RJ models and practices for South Africa. An 11-item bibliography
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Change management; Criminal justice system reform; Foreign criminal justice systems; Restorative Justice
Note: Downloaded February 13, 2008; To access the full text PDF: 1) select the provided link; 2) from the Acta Criminologica Web site, select "Table of Contents"; 3) select the corresponding Volume and Issue (see the NCJRS abstract record for the exact Volume and Issue); 4) scroll the Table of Contents to the exact article; and 5) click on the "full text" icon
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.