The accused, Kyle*, attempted to receive payment for stolen merchandise at a pawnshop. The police were waiting for him there, and a car chase ensued during which Kyle's vehicle collided with another car. Upon arrest, it was discovered that he had possession of several other pieces of stolen property. As a result Kyle faced numerous serious charges. At the time, Kyle was on parole and had a long criminal record. The Crown's initial sentencing position was for 18-24 months in jail.
Kyle was in custody when the process began and dealing with a serious drug addiction which he "fed" through theft. He had previously served time at both provincial and federal institutions.
There were six victims involved who were contacted by the Project. All agreed to participate and information was exchanged between the parties and Kyle answered all of their questions. Five victims met with Kyle to talk about what happened, why it happened and what Kyle could do about it. The sixth was kept informed by letter.
Kyle pled guilty to several charges and was released to a residential drug treatment program under strict conditions.
One victim who met with Kyle was a community planner. They agreed that Kyle would write down his crime prevention ideas for inclusion in an article that the planner was writing for a professional journal.
Kyle also met with four other victims in a Circle Conference. Kyle took responsibility for his offences, apologized to each one and committed to a reparation plan. The plan included partial restitution, continued drug treatment, developing a personal plan with short and long term goals, and community speaking about drug abuse. The circle participants asked for a 3-month delay in sentencing so Kyle could complete some elements of the plan. At that time, they reconvened to develop a final collective recommendation to the court.
Kyle was doing well in drug treatment. Kyle sent a letter of apology to the sixth victim and participated in several public speaking opportunities. In view of all this and the Resolution Proposal reached by the Project, the Crown Attorney and Defence Counsel joined in recommending a 15 -18 month Conditional Sentence. Kyle was sentenced to a 15-month Conditional sentence (a jail sentence, which the offender serves in the community under strict conditions) followed by 2 years Probation. Kyle successfully completed his sentence and continues to do well several years later.
* Please note that identifying details and names have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants.