Similar to the restorative processes of mediation and conferencing, peace circles provide a space for interaction and discussion between the victim and offender, but it moves beyond that to involve the community in the decision-making process.
Depending on the model being used, the community participants may range from justice system personnel to anyone in the community concerned about the crime. Everyone present — the victim, victim’s family, offender, offender’s family and community representatives — is given a voice in the proceedings. Participants typically speak as they pass a “talking piece” around the circle.
Circles can be held for several different reasons and are tailored to meet the community’s need.
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