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July 18, 2008

Minnesota community trying juve sentencing circles

This local story, headlined "Juvenile sentencing circles take aim at youth crime rates," describes at length a sentencing innovation being tried in Minnesota:

With the hope of solving high juvenile crime rates in Nobles County, Juvenile Restorative Justice Agent Erin Top believes she has found the answer — juvenile sentencing circles.  The goal of juvenile sentencing circles, Top explained Tuesday, is to promote healing for all affected parties within the crime and include volunteer members from the community who stand as a mentor to the juvenile offender.

Sentencing circles will bring the juvenile, the parents, the victim, the support members and the community members all together at the same time to discuss the consequences of each individual involved in the crime, she said. Members of the circle will determine what the sentence and expectations will be for the juvenile offender. Cases will be handled outside the formal court setting, giving the offender an opportunity to correct the felony in a productive and natural manner....

By being a part of the sentencing circle process, juveniles will become more open to discussing their problems, feel more involved and contribute to the community. “The sentencing circles show improvement for the juvenile offender and have been a huge success in other communities,” Top said. “We in Nobles County hope to show the same success.”

As noted in this recent post, a new study from Austrailia indicates that sentencing circles have not there proven to be more effective at reducing recidivism than traditional sentencing processes.  Perhaps localities in the US, however, will have more success in a program targeted at youthful offenders.

July 18, 2008 at 10:26 AM | Permalink

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Comments

Wow where can I find sentencing and laws?

Posted by: Aberham Lincoln | Oct 2, 2008 9:22:36 AM

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