Rwanda’s judiciary will next week begin to use plea bargain in dispensing justice, a move that will not only help decongest prison facilities in the country, but also facilitate courts to adjudicate on cases faster, among other benefits. Plea bargain occurs when a prosecutor and a defendant in a criminal case enter an agreement where the suspect pleads guilty to a charge or charges and in return gets a lesser sentence than prescribed for in the penal code. This is yet another novelty in Rwanda’s criminal justice system which has been considered progressive since reforms in the justice sector which started 18 years ago. Beginning next week, this new procedure will be rolled out on a pilot basis in five intermediate courts in the country, and on two crimes; theft and assault, and the success of this phase will inform the expansion in terms of jurisdiction and crimes covered. Some people may, and with reason to some extent, receive this development with mixed feelings, thinking that it may embolden criminals who may return to communities and wreak havoc, but all reforms in the judiciary have been known to have been well considered, at least from past experience. For instance, when Rwanda, coming out of a genocide in which over a million people were killed, decided to abolish the death penalty from the penal code, many thought that the country risked going back to the bad days. However, things have turned out completely different. However, it is important to consider all scenarios to ensure the new initiative does not encourage recidivism. Luckily, in implementing plea bargain, Rwanda will not be reinventing the wheel; it is system that has worked elsewhere. It is hoped that they learnt from best practices where it has worked and hopefully, the new criminal justice policy that is expected to guide the implementation of plea bargain, has considered a marriage between these practices and the local context for maximum impact. Most importantly, once successfully implemented, plea bargain will be a major boost for the country’s quest to promote restorative rather than punitive justice.