Historically, peacekeeping circles were used by indigenous cultures to maintain community harmony and balance. Community Circles, as practiced by Sacred Space Partners, not only steward civility and respect; they also tend to foster self-responsibility, understanding and deepened connection among participants.
When structured into the everyday functioning of any group or organization, this powerful community-building experience can serve as a foundational tool for maintaining well-being. When a restorative program is in place, all community members grow confident that everyday tensions and conflicts can be easily and humanely addressed with community support. A Community Circle Program can preclude the escalation of conflict and the destructive result of long-held, unexpressed resentment. Community Circles promote collaboration, cooperation, co-responsibility and connection.
Both justice and school systems are beginning to introduce various types of restorative options as alternatives to punitive practices. We’ve been told that 240 schools in Georgia use some type of restorative circles to resolve discord in their communities. Various Georgia juvenile court systems are using some method of circle and the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice is training its employees to offer the Family Conferencing circle as an option to offenders and victims.