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“Circle Sentencing: Turning Swords into Ploughshares.”

Stuart, B.
June 4, 2015

Source: (1996) In: B. Galaway and J. Hudson (eds.), Restorative Justice: International Perspectives. Monsey, NY: Criminal Justice Press, pp. 193-206.

This report describes circle sentencing, which involves community meetings to address both family and community circumstances that are underlying causes of crime. Circle sentencing is being practiced in a large number of northern Canadian communities. They involve offenders, victims, friends and families of each, and community members; they provide sentencing consultation to courts; and are built on principles in mediation, Aboriginal peacemaking processes, and consensus decision making. Circle sentencing proceeds best in environments that are comfortable for resolving disputes and facilitating informal processes. The value of circle sentencing goes beyond its impact on the offender and the victim to include its impact upon the community. Participants in circle sentencing address a broad scope of issues relating to conditions in the community that contribute to crime.


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