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Paiement, Robert. Peacemaking Circles Pilot Project in St. James Town and Regent Park (Toronto, Canada) Phase Two: January 30, 2005-June 30, 2006. Evaluation Report.
This report provides findings from a process evaluation of the Peacemaking Circles Pilot Project in the St. James Town and Regent Park communities from January 30, 2005 to June 30, 2006. A previous evaluation was completed on the first year of the implementation of the project. The report begins with the historical context of the initiative, an overview and description of Peacemaking Circles, the goals and objectives of the initiative, its structure and the design of the evaluation and a summary of the findings of the evaluation. The remainder of the report focuses upon findings from the evaluation related to both the implementation process and outcomes. (excerpt)
McCormick, Anna C. Confronting the Past and Building a Future: Peacemaking Circles in a Northern Canadian Community
The most significant changes in the administration of youth justice, based on a transformative philosophy, are occurring in First Nations communities, in response to a history of oppression, near-genocide, culture conflict with, and proven ineffectiveness of the Western criminal justice system. In efforts to reassert power and take responsibility for local issues, address crime and victimization, build community, revive traditional values, increase community capacity and self-sufficiency, create a healthier reality for future generations, and prepare for eventual self-government, one primarily First Nations community in the Yukon has developed and implemented peacemaking circles. This thesis is a result of field research conducted in this community. Based on participant observation and interviews with community justice practitioners, community members, justice personnel, young offenders and victims who have experienced peacemaking circles, it explores several individual, community, and system level challenges which may affect the potential of circles to accomplish objectives. The initiative operates within a community and political environment that is plagued by misinformation, skepticism, mistrust, resistance, apathy, dysfunctionality, power imbalances, state paternalism, and minimal ideological and financial support. Project evaluations cannot be imposed from the outside, before these issues have the opportunity to be addressed, or before the initiative has sufficient time to reach long-term objectives. Failure to address these and other issues could be devastating to the entire restorative justice movement, and doom communities to continued intervention by and subordination to an ineffective and oppressive retributive justice system. Author's abstract.
Lawrie, Rowena and Thomas, Brendan and Brignell, Georgia and Smart, Jane and Potas, Ivan. Circle Sentencing in New South Wales: A Review and Evaluation
Part 1 presents the background and concept of circle sentencing. The process involves community members and offenders coming together to discuss the offense, the offender, and the consequences of the offense. The goal is to jointly arrive at an appropriate sentence for the offender. This justice process enjoyed success in Canada, spurring officials in New South Wales to adapt the process for use with Australian Aboriginal communities. A pilot circle sentencing initiative was undertaken at Nowra beginning in February 2002. The pilot program had 13 offender participants: 11 male and 2 female offenders. Part 2 reviews the circle sentencing procedures used in Nowra. Eight case examples of circle sentencing proceedings are presented throughout part 2 in order to demonstrate its practice. The case studies describe the circumstances of the offense, the proceedings, the sentence, and the progress reports at follow-up. Part 3 presents program evaluation results for the first 12 months of the programxe2x80x99s operation. Participants in circle sentencing were surveyed throughout 2002. Surveys were completed by community members, defense solicitors, police, prosecutors, the magistrate, defendants, and victims. The evaluation indicates that circle sentencing in Nowra has been effective in many ways. This type of justice model has been effective at reducing barriers between the courts and Aboriginal people; raising the level of support for Aboriginal people; incorporating victim support; empowering the Aboriginal community; offering relevant sentencing options with community support; and reducing recidivism. Part 4 assesses the role of circle sentencing in New South Wales given the success of the first circle sentencing pilot program. Given the positive results of the program, the only deficit discovered was the time commitment required to process an offender through circle sentencing. Abstract courtesy of the National Criminal Justice Reference Service, www.ncjrs.org.

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