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Circle sentencing: Part of the restorative justice continuum

Lilles, Heino
June 4, 2015

Source: (2001) In Restorative justice for juveniles: Conferencing, mediation and circles, ed. Allison Morris and Gabrielle Maxwell, 161-179. With a foreword by DJ Carruthers. Oxford: Hart Publishing.

Circle sentencing is one of many restorative justice practices. It seeks recognition of the needs of the victim, community involvement, and identification of the rehabilitative needs of the offender. Unlike some restorative justice practices, circle sentencing participates in and replaces sentencing in the criminal justice system. In this chapter, Lilles studies the nature and application of circle sentencing in the Canadian context. This includes a survey of the circle process and its outcomes (what happens with the offender after the circle, and the impact of the circle on participants). Critical commentary on circle sentencing addresses barriers to implementation, the nature and role of the community, concerns about the victim in the process, issues related to offender participation, and the role of the judge.


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