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Justice as Healing: A Newsletter on Aboriginal Concepts of Justice – Sentencing Circle: A General Overview and Guidelines

Editor, Youth and the Law
June 4, 2015

Source: (1998) Saskatoon: Native Law Centre, Vol. 3, No. 3.

The sentencing circle is a method of dealing with members of the community that have broken the law. A sentencing circle is conducted after the individual has been in the present western justice system and found guilty or if the accused has accepted guilt and is willing to assume their responsibility. This sentencing method encourages the offender and the community to accept responsibility and acknowledges the harm they have done to society and the victims. A sentencing circle’s aim is to shift the process of sentencing from punishment to rehabilitation and responsibility. It provides a new alternative for courts to incarceration. The sentencing circle provides an opportunity to start a healing process for both the offender and the victim. The offender is presented with the impact of their actions in front of respected community members, elders, peers, family, the victim and their family, stimulating an opportunity for real change. (excerpt)


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