Peace Circles. You’ve probably never heard of them, but they’re the idea that if you make criminals say they’re sorry to your face for harming you, everyone hugs, and the criminals go on their merry way to commit more crimes. Using peace circles instead of prison is a foolish idea. The problem is that criminals don’t think like the rest of us. Chicago is using it under the guise of “restorative justice.” And it is making the city an extremely dangerous place.
What are peace circles?
Peacemaking circles bring together individuals who want to engage in conflict resolution, healing, support, decision making or other activities when honest communication, relationship development, and community building are desired outcomes. Circles can be appropriate in business, family, judicial, social service and other settings. They offer an alternative to other meeting processes that often rely on hierarchy, win-lose positioning, and victim/rescuer approaches to relationships and problem solving. Circles bring people together in a way that creates trust, respect, intimacy, good will, belonging, generosity, mutuality and reciprocity. The process is never about “changing others”, but rather is an invitation to change oneself and one’s relationship with the community.
rjssi – Peace Making Circles in restorative justice