Questions for Planners:

  • How does the concept of “peacemaker” translate to a non-Indian setting? Who would best fill the role of a peacemaker in a non-Indian setting? What should peacemakers be called in a non-Indian setting? How should they be selected? What skills and training should be required? Is it necessary for peacemakers to be community elders? If so, how is “elder” defined in non-Indian communities, especially diverse communities? Is it OK for peacemakers to know the disputants beforehand?....
  • Are both civil and criminal issues appropriate to tackle in a non-Indian setting? Which issues in particular are most amenable to peacemaking? Put another way, which kinds of offenses or disputes are best served by a less adversarial approach?....
  • Who should refer cases to peacemaking? What are the advantages/disadvantages of accepting court referrals and/or court supervision? Should non-Indian peacemaking be court supervised? If not, to whom should peacemakers be accountable?....
  • In non-Indian peacemaking, should there be rules or limits on who participates? If so, how should participants be selected? Should representatives of the larger community be actively invited? Should participation always be voluntary? Can/should lawyers be excluded? If lawyers are excluded, how can participants be certain that everyone’s rights are being protected? What concerns will institutional voices (such as defenders, prosecutors, judges) have about the idea of peacemaking? Will the size of the group impact the manageability of the process?....
  • How important are ceremonial qualities to the success of peacemaking? How much does the success of peacemaking depend on participants’ sharing the same values? Can peacemaking work if participants don’t share the same culture or religion? Are there appropriate secular substitutes for religion or ceremony in a non-Indian setting? Can religion or ritual have a place in non-Indian peacemaking? How are community norms determined in a non-Indian, more heterogeneous community? Are there a set of norms in non-Indian communities that are universally accepted and understood? In non-Indian communities, can laws be substituted for norms? Is it helpful to write down a code of conduct or list of shared values to refer to during a peacemaking session? How important is a feeling of membership in a group to the success of peacemaking?....
  • How can peacemaking in a non-Indian setting retain its informality and flexibility while also protecting rights and maintaining clarity and fairness? ....
  • In non-Indian peacemaking, how should consensus be defined? How should restitution be defined?....
  • Is it useful or acceptable for extended families to help compensate victims or is that only workable in Indian country? Does ostracism work as an enforcement tool in non-Indian communities?....
  • Outside a tribal setting, how should resolutions reached through peacemaking be enforced? If a final resolution involves extended family members, can they be sanctioned for non-compliance? Is enforcement possible without court involvement? What are appropriate consequences for non-compliance? ....
  • Is peacemaking more lasting and satisfying than formal court-based processes? How does satisfaction compare to similarly situated participants in conventional Western courts? What is the rate of compliance with peacemaking sentences? What is the rate of recidivism among perpetrators who have participated in peacemaking? Does peacemaking have the potential to increase public confidence in justice? Are participants in peacemaking more likely to perceive that they've been treated fairly?....
  • How important are peacemaking’s unique features to the model’s success? ...

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