Source: (2005) In Wanda D. McCaslin, ed., Justice as Healing: Indigenous Ways. Writings on Community Peacemaking and Restorative Justice from the Native Law Centre. St. Paul, MN: Living Justice Press. Pp. 161-166.

"In some northern communities, sentencing circles are now being used in pre-charge diversion programs. The accused may be sent directly to the community for resolution, instead of being diverted from the court. Control over the process stays within the community. This practice is especially significant, because it holds the most potential for developing community-based restorative justice models. Some are concerned that this development may represent little more than 'tinkering' with the justice system. What is clear, though, is that these circle practices are preferable to the 'status quo.' Fundamental change is necessary in the justice system, because this system has failed Aboriginal people and non-Aboriginals as well. Non-Aboriginal community diversion programs based on restorative models are operating successfully. These models can easily be used in urban centers for both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal offenders." (excerpt)