Source: (1998) Justice as Healing 3 (3).

This article, from a Native perspective in Canada, provides concrete guidelines on sentencing circles including when to hold one, rules governing a sentencing circle, and procedures in a sentencing circle. A sentencing circle is a method of dealing with members of the community who have broken the law. A sentencing circle is conducted after the individual has been found guilty in the present Western justice system, or if the accused has accepted guilt and is willing to assume responsibility. This sentencing method encourages the offender and the community to accept responsibility and acknowledges the harm they have done to society and to victims. A sentencing circle’s aim is to shift the process of sentencing from punishment to rehabilitation, responsibility, and healing. It provides a new alternative for courts to incarceration.

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