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Review: The legacy of community justice

Mar 11, 2013

The Legacy of Community Justice. Sandra Pavelka, Anne Seymour and Barry Stuart, eds. Vernon, BC, Canada: JCharlton Publishing Ltd. 2013.

Reviewed by Dan Van Ness

There are really two subjects of this collection of articles. One is community justice, which continues to exert influence in the juvenile and criminal justice fields. The second and more important one is Dennis (Denny) Maloney. Denny was an influential, charismatic, larger-than-life leader in the restorative and community justice movement until his untimely death in 2007.

The book consists of articles, roughly half of which have appeared elsewhere, interspersed with short tributes to Denny by people who knew him well. Many of the articles were co-authored by Denny; others are about programs in which he was directly involved, such as Deschutes County’s juvenile justice system and the Restorative and Balanced Justice (BARJ) program that has influenced the juvenile justice system in a number of states. There are also several excellent articles about the role of the victim in those programs and the role of the community in responding to victims of violent crime.

The tributes are personal reflections on how Denny influenced many of the leaders in the restorative and community justice fields. The final chapter of the book, by Barry Stuart, is a long tribute that gives those who knew Denny only casually or not at all a sense of why he was so influential. He asked big questions, was eager to explore entirely new approaches, was grounded in relational values, and had the ability to create practical applications that dealt realistically with the political, financial and other constraints confronting juvenile and criminal justice.

What emerges from this collection is the picture of a remarkable man. It is a tribute to the legacy of Dennis Maloney.

According to Sandra Pavelka's website, "all proceeds from this book will be donated to the Maloney girls, in memory of their Dad." For additional information contact Dr. John Charlton or Dr. Sandra Pavelka

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