Victimology Society of Serbia November 23, 2023 Conference

Presentation of Reentry Planning Circles & Cultural Differences

Leela Bilmes Goldstein, PhD & Lorenn Walker, JD, MPH

This 12-minute video presentation, for the Victimology Society of Serbia recorded November 6, 2023, describes the research outcomes reported by authors Leela Bilmes Goldstein and Lorenn Walker in Hawai‘i’s Multicultural Contexts and Victim Participants’ Information Shuttled for Restorative Reentry Planning Circles, 2019, Global Perspectives on Victimization Analysis and Prevention, Ed. Johnson Ayodele, IGI Global Publications, 134-154.


Hawai‘i is a multicultural island state that has been experimenting with a facilitated restorative reentry planning circle process for incarcerated individuals who meet with loved ones. The circle process considers loved ones’ needs for repairing harm, and the incarcerated person’s needs for successful reentry including reconciliation with loved ones. When loved ones cannot attend a circle they are invited to provide information over the telephone or by email to the facilitator, who shares the information during the circle. This study analyzed participants’ perceptions of how helpful it was for them to provide information about their needs having an incarcerated loved one. The authors predicted participants from high-context cultures would find the process less satisfying than those from low-context cultures, but the study found no differences. Despite identifying from a high- or low-context culture, all participants except one from a low-context culture, found that providing shuttled information was helpful. 

Keywords: Restorative Justice, Solution-Focused, Reentry Circle, Incarceration, Victimization, Healing, High-Context Culture, Low-Context Culture, Communication Styles, Howard Zehr