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Toolkit on Diversion and Alternatives to Detention




Three key definitions are explored in this section:

1. Diversion - means the conditional channelling of children in conflict with the law away from judicial proceedings towards a different way of resolving the issue that enables many - possibly most - to be dealt with by non-judicial bodies, thereby avoiding the negative effects of formal judicial proceedings and a criminal record.

2. Alternatives to detention - refers to measures that may be imposed on children who are being formally processed though the criminal justice system, at both pre-trial and sentencing stages, that do not involve deprivation of liberty.

3. Restorative justice -is an approach in which the victim/survivor and offender, and in some cases other persons affected by a crime, “participate actively together in the resolution of matters arising from the crime, generally with the help of a facilitator."

The links on the right explore these definitons more fully and include some important points which help to further clarify the concepts.

'Restorative justice' is included as a definition here because there is often confusion about how this overlaps with diversion and alternatives. It may not be necessary or appropriate to always adopt a restorative justice approach, and diversion and alternatives can be very effective without this. However, in many circumstances a restorative justice approach to diversion and alternatives is appropriate and has many benefits.

The 'useful diagram' is an animated powerpoint presentation which helps to clarify differences and interactions between diversion, alternatives, restorative justice and a child rights-based approach.

In addition, a full glossary of terms relating to child justice more broadly is also included.

Follow the links at the top for more information.

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