Source: (1995) Criminal Law Forum. 6: 576.

Carol LaPrairie begins with the assertion that many people – both those seeking more punitive responses and those aiming to improve the situation for victims, offenders, and communities – want to “do justiceâ€? differently in criminal justice. Yet, it is much easier to enact stronger punishments, she observes, than to benefit victims, offenders, and communities. Nevertheless, in terms of these more elusive social justice goals, she asserts that it is time to rethink Aboriginal criminal justice issues. For example, as is well known, Aboriginal peoples are over-represented in correctional systems in Canada and other countries. Other complex issues characterize the interaction of Aboriginal peoples and criminal justice systems. In this context, LaPrairie examines conferencing as an alternative response to offending behaviors, and as a way of improving the lot of victims, offenders, and communities.