The article deals with the changes of criminal justice policy as it has developed during previous decades in Slovakia as well as abroad. Changes of criminal justice and punishment are understood in context of large societal changes characteristic to the recent period of modern (or post-modern) society. The basic framework of discussion are: trends of criminality (changes in measures and structure of crime and crime rates, changes of crime profiles of offenders), new trends in criminology (the crisis of aetiological paradigm and new criminological theories - new administrative or actuarial criminology, social constructionist school and postmodernism) and trends in crime control policy and punitive policy (stronger punishment versus alternative sanctions). Great attention is paid to the model of restorative justice as an alternative to a classical model of criminal justice - the retributive model. The authoress enlists all main criminological arguments against social effectiveness of retributive model and imprisonment, using criminological thesisses of J. Young, D. Garland, Z. Bauman, J. Braithwaite, C. Shearing and other British and American criminologists. Criminology's traditional focus upon the institutions of police, courts and prisons may be decreasingly irrelevant to the new harms, risks and mechanisms of control that are emerging today. She describes the basic issues of restorative justice, namely diversion and mediation (between the victim and the offender). Important assumptions of effective application of this access, mainly in relation to young offenders and delinquency of the young (the attachment of execution of alternative sanctions for young offenders with social work activities) are discussed. In conclusion she summarizes the possibilities of the application of alternative sanctions in Slovakia (concerning the preparation of complex re-codification of Criminal Law in Slovakia). She deals with some important theoretical implications, which contribute the issues of restorative justice (for law, sociology and criminology).