Touching Spirit Bear by Ben Mikaelsen

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Why is the Circle Justice important in Touching Spirit Bear?  

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Circle Justice is an alternative to prison. It is meant to heal, not punish.

“Circle Justice is for those ready for healing.  It’s not an easy way out.  In fact, a healing path is often much harder“ (Mikaelsen 38).

Circle Justice in this book is an experimental program in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It is based on a form of justice practiced by Native American cultures for thousands of years. However, it is not solely restricted to the American Indian culture.

“Anybody can love, forgive, and heal. Nobody has a corner on that market“ (Mikaelsen 10).

 The idea is that the society must take some responsibility for the fact that this person did this act. Their role now is to rehabilitate that person, not punish him, for the good of society. Everybody is a part of the process, including the victim. 

“...Cole isn’t the only problem here tonight. He is only a symptom of a family and a community that has somehow broken down.  If we can’t find solutions, we all fail, we all share...

(The entire section contains 628 words.)

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