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

So how does this work in the criminal justice arena? It doesn’t. Chicago, for example, had more than 1,120 shootings in 2022  so far and 285 murders. The city ended 2021 with its deadliest year since 2018. But criminals are actually being referred to “peace circles” instead of jail or prison because the idiots in charge of such things think it will reduce the crime rate.

Chicago’s pro-crime politicians eagerly embraced “peace circles”. There are peace circles in schools and a whole lot of “trained facilitators” have hung up their shingles. While pro-crime activists claim that peace circles come from Indian culture, they’re actually one of the stupidly disastrous ideas promoted by Howard Zehr, a white leftist who went to a black college on a minority scholarship, and helped inflict the concept of “restrorative justice” on the country.

The Circuit Court of Cook County has a salaried Restorative Justice Community Court Peace Circle Keeper. And dangerous criminals keep being diverted from prison to peace circles.

That’s what happened when cops caught Ojani Cruz with a gun during a traffic stop. Prosecutors wanted him locked up, but one judge let him out on his own recognizance while another sent him to have his arrest record expunged at a peace circle.

A month after being enrolled in the peace circle treatment, Cruz opened fire on a couple sitting in a minivan. He “circled the vehicle” and “kept firing until he ran out of bullets”. When it was all over, a 20-year-old woman was shot in the back and left paralyzed from the waist down.

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Judges who champion “restorative justice” have been allowing dangerous criminals to roam the streets in the interests of “helping them.” They believe that criminals have been hurt, so releasing them to restorative justice is …nicer. And not “causing more harm.” Or something. Never mind the victims of violent crime.

There is no justice for the victims of violent crime in Chicago.

Cross-Posted with Conservative Firing Line