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Touching Spirit Bear - Circle Justice

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Tom Grell

on 10 May 2013

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Transcript of Touching Spirit Bear - Circle Justice

The offender may agree to things like
Receiving treatment for substance abuse, or anger, or counseling
Compensating the victim Shaming has also been a part of Western Justice
Offenders placed in stocks
Students stand had to sit on a stool with a dunce cap
More recently, publishing the names and pictures of people convicted of soliciting prostitutes Offenders must face the person they’ve harmed and their own community
Shaming a person is part of some Aboriginal Justice traditions. The goal is to bring the person back into harmony with the community
The person’s actions are condemned
Purpose is NOT to keep people out of jail, although it’s a good side effect Everyone in the circle has the same power
Everyone must come to an agreement about what should be done
This is called consensus Circles have been used many times in Sask. courts.
Referred to as Sentencing Circles
They even have special designed Circle courtrooms Circles were first used in the 1990’s by courts struggling with
Rising crime rates
High numbers of repeat offenders
High cost in monetary and human terms Aboriginal way of dealing with conflict emphasizes
Restoration of harmony
Removal of underlying causes of conflict Circles are central to Aboriginal values
They remind people of Mother Earth and their journey through life Circle Justice Background Touching Spirit Bear In Aboriginal tradition, shaming was coupled with recognition that the person was still valued member of community
Sanctions that shamed the person could alienate them further Aboriginal peoples see everything as connected.
This interconnection means people and their actions are not considered in isolation
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