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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Spirit Bear Post 1: Justice Circle

Recently, we have been reading the novel, "Touching Spirit Bear." It tells the story of a lawbreaking teenager named Cole Matthews.
I think that if I were part of Cole's Justice Circle, I would have to review the YCJA. That would help me to get a clear outline of the rights of both the offender and victim. I think when deciding the fate of Cole, it would be important to consider all the circumstances. For one, Cole's father beat him, a pertinent fact that seems at the moment to have been a major source of Cole's anger and frustration. It should also be considered that his mother was an alcoholic, so he would have spent a lot of time on his own. When you do that, it's easy to feel like nobody cares for you and just be really lonely. For Cole, it seems like that turned to anger. While he wasn't willing to cooperate the first Justice Circle, the second it felt like he'd changed. I think that remembering how Cole feels, how he is very angry, is important to giving him a sentence. If I were there, I probably would have come up with a similar verdict as they did in the book. For the first one, he would be really angry, so I would want him to spend some time alone and reflect through banishment. Sentencing him to banishment was also a good course of action because it could possibly teach Cole that being alone isn't so bad after all. A large focus of the YCJA is to try to change youth, because it has shown that youth are more likely to change than adults. This is why I would elect to send Cole to somewhere faraway with minimum human contact, so maybe he can appreciate life a bit more, and also calm down. This proved to be quite effective, and in the second Justice Circle, I would fight for Cole. I would be influenced by how confident he seemed, and how honest he was. It appeared like he really changed. Even though he disobeyed his sentence, he seemed to be changed, which is of course a key focus of the YCJA.