Circle sentencing expanded in NSW (Sydney Morning Herald)

30 Sep Circle sentencing expanded in NSW (Sydney Morning Herald)

A radical justice scheme that brings indigenous offenders face to face with their victims and allows Aboriginal elders to help decide sentences is being expanded across NSW.

The state government will on Thursday announce the rollout of Circle Sentencing to regional centres Moree, Ulladulla, Wellington and Coonamble, and the western Sydney suburb of Blacktown.

The expansion is in response to requests by Aboriginal community justice groups following a series of forums held late last year to discuss criminal and civil justice issues.

In all circle courts, the offender, their peers, the magistrate, victim and Aboriginal elders sit in a circle for a hearing to determine a rehabilitation plan and provide advice on sentencing.

The method has proven effective in the ten NSW locations where it currently operates, with more than 500 circle sentences being held in the past five years and 70 this year alone. …Go to article.