Diversion initiatives in South Africa, writes Catherine Wood, have been practiced since the early 1990s. Since 1996 there has been a substantial expansion in the number of children referred to diversion programs. However, this has occurred in a more or less selective and disjointed fashion as there has been no legislative framework to regulate this development. In view of all of this, Wood in this paper reviews the policy and practice of diversion in South Africa in the 1990s and into the 2000s. She examines the concept of diversion and its introduction and development in South Africa, with reference to the drafting of the Child Justice Bill in 2002. She outlines the new procedures and mechanisms for diversion as proposed in the Bill. Then she analyses developments in the field of diversion that have taken place in South Africa since 1997 in preparation for implementation of the Bill.