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Justice in Aboriginal Communities: Sentencing Alternatives

Green, Ross
June 4, 2015

Source: (1998) Saskatoon, Saskatchewan: Purich Press, 1998.

Canada’s criminal justice system has had a troubled relationship with Aboriginal People. This discord can be seen in disproportionally high rates of Aboriginal incarceration and in the limited recognition given by the conventional justice system to the needs and values of Aboriginal communities. To compound matters, many remote Aboriginal communities are served by fly-in circuit courts, which visit the communities once a month, pronounce judgment on the cases presented to them, and then leave. Ross Green looks at the evolution of the Canadian criminal justice system and the values upon which it is based. He then contrasts those values with Aboriginal concepts of justice. Against this backdrop, he introduces sentencing and mediation initiatives currently being developed in Aboriginal communities, including sentencing circles, elder and community sentencing panels, sentence advisory committees, and community mediation projects. At the heart of the book are case studies of northern communities, which Green uses to analyze the successes of and challenges to the innovative approaches to sentencing currently evolving in Aboriginal communities across Canada.


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