Over the past couple of months, we started reading Touching Spirit Bear by Ben Mikaelson to study the Youth Criminal Justice act of Canada. It touched upon the restorative justice system used in the YCJA, and here are my thoughts on the healing circle presented in the book.
If I were in the healing circle, I would definitely take into account Cole's history (not only criminal history but family history as well). An important factor in any person's life is his or her family and how their family treats them. For example, if your father beats you and your mother is an alcoholic, you probably won't have a good role model to grow off of. Without proper guidance in life, one is likely to stray off the 'good' path. I understand that Cole is who he is because of his family. If he had a good family that cared for him, he mightn't have committed so many (or non at all) crimes. I don't think that Cole should take all the blame for the crimes he committed. His family takes some blame as well, since none of them were there to guide him or help him. The YCJA is focused on reparative and restorative justice, and I think that is just what Cole needs.