Source: (1996) International Journal of Comparative and Applied Criminal Justice. 20(1 & 2): 291-309.

This article describes and evaluates a Canadian system for dispute resolution that is premised on restorative justice. Throughout North America there has been an increasing interest in the development of alternative forums for dispute resolution that may more effectively address the needs of victims, offenders, and the community. Concurrent with this has been an attempt to alter the adversarial framework of the criminal justice system. This has included the development and implementation of case processing strategies premised on restorative justice and attempting to secure the participation of communities as partners in the resolution of disputes. One particularly innovative initiative is circle sentencing, which has been implemented in several communities in the Yukon, Canada. This paper outlines the procedure by which cases are processed in circle sentencing and discusses the involvement of the offender, the victim, the community, and the territorial court. The paper also describes several ways in which any community-based processes reliant on mediation and consensus skills can contribute to community well-being. Abstract courtesy of National Criminal Justice Reference Service,