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The Indigenous Practice That Is Transforming the Adversarial Process

A brief but comprehensive read from The Judges’ Journal  providing background in several areas.  First, the author recounts the historical origins of use of circles for justice practices and describes the Kake, Alaska, practice of using circles – Grief Circles, Peacemaking Circles, Suicide Prevention Circles, Celebration Circles, and Sentencing Circles to name a few.  Next, the article summarizes how a circle process works provides an overview of the process in the sentencing context along with a few cautionary notes for judges who might like to implement it.   Finally, the article discussed the use of peacemaking in two state court systems, Michigan and Alaska.  The author predicts that circles will “transform the adversarial process even more,” recidivism in criminal cases will decrease as will requests for modifications in custody disputes.

Read the article by Neil Nesheim from The Judges’ Journal, Vol. 55, No. 4, at the American Bar Association’s website.