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NCJ Number: 204205 Find in a Library
Title: Circle Sentencing in New South Wales: A Review and Evaluation
Author(s): Ivan Potas; Jane Smart; Georgia Brignell; Brendan Thomas; Rowena Lawrie
Corporate Author: Judicial Cmssn of New South Wales
Australia
Date Published: October 2003
Page Count: 68
Sponsoring Agency: Judicial Cmssn of New South Wales
Sydney NSW, 2000
Publication Number: ISBN 0 7313 5604 7
Sale Source: Judicial Cmssn of New South Wales
Level 5
301 George Street
Sydney NSW,
Australia
Document: PDF
Publisher: https://www.judcom.nsw.gov.au 
Type: Program/Project Evaluation
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: Australia
Annotation: This monograph overviews the practice of circle sentencing and presents evaluation results of a pilot circle sentencing initiative in the Local Court in Nowra, New South Wales.
Abstract: Part 1 presents the background and concept of circle sentencing. Circle sentencing for Indigenous offenders was a concept that originated in Canada in 1992. 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 program’s 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. Despite the time commitment, it is recommended that circle sentencing be expanded to other regions of the State with a high concentration of Aboriginal communities. Tables, bibliography, appendix
Main Term(s): Criminal justice program evaluation; Restorative Justice
Index Term(s): Foreign criminal justice systems; Foreign sentencing; New South Wales
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=204205

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