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Community Prosecution

Articles about decentralized, community-oriented prosecution programmes.

Boland, Barbara. The Manhattan Experiment: Community Prosecution
Chronicles the genesis, activities, and evolution of the community prosecution experiment in the Manhattan District Attorney's office that now addresses both quality-of-life crime and serious crime. These efforts have resulted in the emergence of an organizational capacity to respond to neighborhood crime problems that are not readily ameliorated by the traditional case-by-case arrest-convict process. What began as the assignment of one individual to work with citizens on drugs and crime has evolved into a varied set of initiatives within the office that in essence connects the legal expertise of the district attorney's (DA's) office to citizens in neighborhoods and precinct police. When this happens, official attention focuses on the specific circumstances and intricacies of neighborhood crime, and citizens get a response they do not get 'downtown.' (excerpt)
Ware, Teresa and Cunningham, Marcia and Kuykendall, Michael and Harp, Karen. Juvenile Delinquency and Community Prosecution. New Strategies for Old Problems.
This monograph provides a brief explanation of community prosecution, an overview of the potential interface between community prosecution and juvenile justice, a discussion of the legal and systemic issues that APRI uncovered during its site visits, a review of some common issues identified between community prosecution and juvenile justice, and a brief comparison of community prosecution to another emerging juvenile justice philosophy, balanced and restorative justice. (excerpt)
Mabandla, Brigitte. Restorative Justice and Community Prosecution: Exploring the South African Model.
Because we live in a country in which citizens are extremely concerned with the levels of crime, especially violent crime, punitive sentencing is seen by many as a way to prevent crime and preserve the social order. Regardless of this, more and more people are beginning to ask whether this is the only approach in resolving disputes. There is an increasing sense of dissatisfaction and frustration with the current offender-focused criminal justice system that openly excludes the victim and the community. Over the past decade a new way of thinking about how we should view and respond to crime and delinquency has been gaining ground around the world as well as SA; and is beginning to exercise a significant influence on criminal justice policy and practice. (excerpt)
Young, Marlene. Restorative Community Justice in the United States: A New Paradigm.
A notable trend in the United States has been an increasing focus on offender accountability and the empowerment of crime victims. The emergence of restorative/community justice provides a framework within which both objectives can be accomplished. The article presents examples of specific program initiatives and considers the legislative changes required at the State and local level to facilitate development and implementation of restorative/community justice programs. Restorative/community justice program elements include community policing, community prosecution and community courts. Three primary roles for victim service programs in the restorative/community justice model are to help victims and communities address the immediate and long-term trauma of victimization, to help victims and communities access and participate in opportunities to restore justice and to establish and maintain training and education programs for all agencies and members of the community on victim issues. Abstract courtesy of National Criminal Justice Reference Service, www.ncjrs.org.
Kelling, George L. and Coles, Catherine M. and Moore, David B. Prosecution in the community: A study of emergent strategies. A cross site analysis
The authors of this document identify three chief aims in their study: (1) investigation of the practices, programs, and developing approaches of several prosecutors known for their contributions to new trends in prosecution; (2) examination of the process of change by which the prosecutors created and implemented new activities and programs; and (3) assessment of potential opportunities and liabilities involved in these changes. Prosecutorial changes are taking place amidst two distinct trends in the activities and approaches of prosecutors in large cities. First, prosecutors are attempting to develop greater capacities to promote public safety and quality of life through increased collaboration with others in a broad problem-oriented approach. Second, prosecutors are responding to the community justice movement with its emphasis on the responsiveness and accountability of criminal justice agencies to citizens. The authors’ study therefore covers the following topics: an explanation of their methodology; case synopses; the nature and extent of change in prosecution strategies; the impetus for change; the changing shape of prosecution (with emphasis on community prosecution and community justice programs); and discussion of the risks and liabilities of new strategies.
Settles, Tanya Lynne. Community Policing and Community Adjudication: Toward a Theory of Organizational Co-Evolution in Criminal Justice Administration
This study examines how and why police agencies that engage in community policing strategies interact with judicial agencies that utilize community adjudication, including restorative justice, community courts, community prosecution, and similar tactics. This study investigates the interaction between community policing and community adjudication to determine organizational and intergovernmental strategies that permit both types of agencies to achieve common goals in a way that is responsive to the communities they serve. Author's abstract.
Young, M.A. Restorative Community Justice: A Call to Action.
This monograph presents a theoretical description of restorative community justice (RCJ), combining both the goals of retribution (punishment) and restorative justice (restitution). In addition to swift and certain punishments, offenders also owe restitution to their victim and community. RCJ principles are identified. The RCJ approach is based on offender accountability and victim responsibilities. RCJ program elements include community policing, community prosecution, community courts, and community corrections. Policy initiatives related to RCJ are considered, and a community policing/problem-solving action plan devised for Portland Oregon is appended.
Anderson, K. "Community Justice Centres: Alternatives to Prosecution."
Community justice centers in New South Wales (Australia) appear to be achieving their primary objective, the establishment of voluntary lay mediation service for the resolution of disputes between parties in ongoing relationships. The Community Justice Centres (Pilot Project) Act of 1980 established three experimental community justice centers in New South Wales. The centers use the technique of mediation to deal with the underlying tensions and conflicts in ongoing relationships.
Weiland, Doris and Irons-Guynn, Cheryl and Goldkamp, John S. Community prosecution strategies: Measuring Impact. A report on community justice initiatives
This lengthy research report examines the emergence of community prosecution strategies and some of their common elements in the United States, with particular emphasis on measuring the impact of such strategies. Community prosecution constitutes a "grassroots" approach to law enforcement. It poses the possibility of significant changes in the role and aim of the prosecutor and in the organization and operation of the prosecutor's office. To accomplish their research, the authors made observations and conducted interviews with officials and key actors in prosecutor's offices across the United States who are engaged in community prosecution. The report consists of several parts: an executive summary; a discussion of the role of the prosecutor with respect to the community and community justice; a history of the emergence of community prosecution strategies; a typology of such strategies; overviews of community prosecution programs in the United States; and description of the research methods used to measure the impact of community prosecution.

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