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Peacemaking Circles: The “Original” Dispute Resolution of Aboriginal People Emerges as the “New” Alternative Dispute Resolution Process

Smith, Janelle
June 4, 2015

Source: (2003) Hamline Journal of Public Law and Policy. 24: 329.

Noting the enormous costs of the criminal justice system weighing down on many states in the United States, Janelle Smith advances the idea that states could curb those costs through the use of peacemaking circles. As informal community-based processes, peacemaking circles can reduce expenditures and reduce recidivism. Smith details her argument by exploring the values of peacemaking circles, especially healing circles. She examines the ideals and practices of restorative justice, the relationship between restorative justice and alternative dispute resolution processes, the origin of peacemaking circles in Aboriginal cultures, the format of the circle process, and the impact of peacemaking circles on victims, offenders, and communities.


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