By Julie Mallozzi
CIRCLE UP is the story of a grieving mother, the men who murdered her son, and the unexpected bonds they create to prevent more violence.
After the brutal slaying of her teenage son, Janet Connors reaches out to her son’s killers to offer forgiveness. She becomes the first person in Massachusetts to hold a victim-offender dialogue through the corrections system. Janet establishes a connection with one of the men responsible - AJ - in the hopes that their bond will help him turn his life around. In their community, Janet and AJ team up with other mothers of murdered children to form Native American-inspired peacemaking circles to help young people break the chain of violence and revenge. Reframing approaches to crime and punishment, CIRCLE UP is a frank portrait of restorative justice in action.