Circle sentencing

A method of sentencing sometimes used with Aboriginal offenders (and occasionally with other offenders). Typically, the judge, lawyers, police, offender and parents, victim, and other community members and professionals sit in a circle. Everyone has an opportunity to express their feelings about the offence and offender, and their views about an appropriate sentence. If a consensus emerges about an appropriate sentence, the judge will usually impose this sentence, though the judge is not obliged to do so. A body of jurisprudence deals with the appropriateness of circle sentencing for adults, and section 41 of the YCJA recognizes the judicially convened “conference,” which includes the possibility of circle sentencing.

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