Source: (2005) Saskatchewan Law Review. 68: 455-474.

In this paper, Charmaine Panko discusses a Canadian case – R. v. T.D.P. – where the accused was a young offender. In the sentencing process, the judge directed that a sentencing circle be used. The judge’s remarks in doing so pointed to the value in this kind of restorative justice process, namely that certain factors were brought to light about the young offender’s life and community situation that may not have been included in the disposition of the case otherwise. While this case evidences some of the benefits of sentencing circles with respect to young offenders, Panko comments that it also shows some of the challenges in this kind of disposition. Panko details all of this by looking at the principles and purposes of sentencing under the Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA), the use of sentencing circles, the individual participants in a sentencing circle, and sentencing circles and the YCJA.