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Community Holistic Circle Healing


‘The legal system’s use of incarceration under the guise of specific and general deterrence also seems, to us, to be ineffective in breaking the cycle of violence…What the threat of incarceration does do is keep people from coming forward and taking responsibility for the hurt they are causing. It reinforces the silence, and therefore promotes, rather than breaks, the cycle of violence that exists. In reality, rather than making the community a safer place, the threat of jail places the community more at risk.’

Community Holistic Circle Healing Program – Hollow Water First Nation Position on incarceration


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There is an ‘urgent need for adequately resourced and the improved development of programs and treatment services that are designed, implemented and delivered by Aboriginal people, specifically for Aboriginal offenders.  Indeed, another principle for effective intervention highlighted in the “what works” literature, is that programmatic interventions that are delivered in community settings (ie, community-based) are more effective than those delivered in custodial settings.’

Hannah McGlade and Vickie Hovane,  The Mangolamara Case: Improving Aboriginal Community Safety and Healing


The Community Holistic Circle Healing process involves 13 steps, developed for dealing with perpetrators of sexual abuse, and is another example of how communities are leading the way while governments lag behind. It centres on community accountability, responsibility and healing. While it is considered by some to be an imperfect model, there appear to be lessons that can be learned and principles that can be further explored and developed in order to develop a response that affords victims justice and prevents further harm.


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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are respectfully advised that this website contains images of and references to deceased persons.

All viewers are respectfully advised that the site contains images of and references to the deaths in custody of Indigenous peoples, Black people and refugees that may cause distress.

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