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Community Justice

These are articles about initiatives to build ties between communities and the criminal justice system in order to better prevent crime, repair harm and build communities.

Salm, Joao. Co-produced restorative justice: The possibility of implementing restorative justice principles in south Brazil.
Restorative Justice is a set of normative principles. These principles can be practiced in a variety of ways and in a variety of settings. When these principles work, it is democracy at its best. Restorative Justice has been conceptualized by a vast number of scholars and practitioners in and outside the area of conflict resolution. Most see Restorative Justice as providing the possibility of bringing people together to restore the harmony of a community. This dissertation utilized field work and content analysis to track down and understand the consistency and implementation process of Restorative Justice principles in the community and in the courts of south Brazil. Interviews, observations, and agreements were studied to determine how Restorative Justice principles were being used in settings of the community and the courts. Also, inquiries were made as to whether Restorative Justice is being co-opted by the courts as another strategy to carry out official duties. The results of this research indicate that Restorative Justice brings a new degree of justice and humanity into the community as private parties seek to mend what has been broken without intervention of the law and the courts. Programs based on the principles of Restorative Justice bring work, education, and hope to the youth in the favelas of Brazilian cities, and methods to address the root causes of conflict. It was also determined that a recriprocal partnership, co-produced by a political-educational approach, must be created between the community and the court to further implement Restorative Justice. (Abstract taken from paper)
Monaghan, Rachel. Community-Based Justice in Northern Ireland and South Africa.
South Africa and Northern Ireland have experienced bitter ethnonational conflicts in which the transition to a peaceful political settlement has been characterized by crime and violence. In the case of Northern Ireland, this transition is still ongoing. This article examines the alternative policing and informal justice mechanisms, which have developed in the townships of South Africa and within the working-class districts of Northern Ireland. These mechanisms offer the inhabitants of such areas instant redress and retributive justice. This article is also concerned with the community-based restorative justice projects, which have been established in certain areas within both countries and examines whether such projects have an impact on vigilante attacks in South Africa and paramilitary "punishments" in Northern Ireland. (author's abstract)
Philip A. Milburn. How civil society is on the criminal justice agenda in France
"First, we shall look at the term 'community' and its political and sociological effects in the French context of a strongly state-centered political system. ... This will lead us to examine in detail both the principle and the implementation of several of these schemes, particularly victim-offender mediation, reparation orders, new schemes flowing from guilty pleas, and a few others. This is not a mere descriptive exercise: it provides an opportunity to comment on the way in which local civil society and its members are included in these innovative judicial processes and what kind of role they are meant to play. But the answers to these questions vary according to the political complexion of the government at the time." (Abstract)
Van Wormer, Katherine. Restorative Justice Across the East and the West
"The articles in this collection cover a range of topics, all related to community justice and to the redress for wrongs committed. Among the areas covered are family violence, community policing, juvenile justice, traditional Native forms of justice, community reparation, and environmental restoration." (Abstract)
Bucqueroux, Bonnie. Community criminal justice: What community policing teaches us.
The author of this article observes that proponents of community policing believe that this new paradigm has the potential to serve as the model for dramatic reform of the entire criminal justice system. At the same time, the controversial and complicated history of community policing reveals the daunting problems that would challenge the implementation of a community criminal justice system. Amidst this context, the author defines community policing; compares changes in the model of medicine to changes in the model of criminal justice with respect to prevention and intervention; identifies principles of community justice; and paints a sketch of a community criminal justice system.
Maruna, Shadd. Afterword: In the shadows of community justice
Amidst pronouncements that probation has failed and community justice contains the hope for community corrections, Shadd Maruna identifies significant issues concerning community justice, particularly with respect to moving from the ideal of theory to the reality of actual implementation. How are community justice ideas and principles put into practice? What are the outcomes of community justice initiatives over time? Furthermore, if community justice represents a paradigm shift, do questions of evaluation and 'What works?' need to be understood in new ways?
Larsson, Paul and Dullum, Jane. From community service to community punishment: Developments in the use of community sanctions and victim-offender mediation in Norway.
Abstract Unavailable
Barajas, Eduardo, Jr. Moving toward community justice
In this article, Barajas maintains that a revolution is occurring in criminal justice – the emergence of a new paradigm – based not on the offender as the focus of criminal justice but on the community as the focus. Hence, this new paradigm can be called community justice. Barajas describes the shortcomings of the current criminal justice system and contrasts these with the characteristics of community justice. He then draws out the implications of the community justice model for policy and action.
Holcomb, Deevy and Maloney, Dennis M. In pursuit of community justice: Deschutes County, Oregon
Maloney and Holcomb characterize community justice as emphasizing community responsibility for public safety, crime victims as the primary customers of the justice system, restorative processes to repair harm to victims and communities, and government accountability to all citizens. Though community justice is a relatively new development, its implementation has many variations. The authors picture how Deschutes County, Oregon, has applied particular community justice principles and perspectives to devise programs to build community, reduce risk, and repair harm. Their portrait begins with an explanation of community justice and its distinctiveness. This leads to a short history of community justice in Deschutes County, and summaries of specific county programs that embody community justice.
Schiff, Mara F. and Bazemore, Gordon. Understanding restorative community justice: What and why now?
In this essay, Bazemore and Schiff explain key elements of restorative community justice. They also seek to explain its emergence at this time. Understanding restorative community justice begins with discerning its roots in the restorative justice and community justice movements. Noting certain apparent differences in emphasis, the authors describe and compare the beginnings of those two movements. Then they trace ways in which the restorative justice and community justice movements have begun to converge. Differences in emphasis centered in the following: more attention to individual cases (restorative justice) versus community circumstances (community justice); more a reaction to crime (restorative justice) versus a prevention of crime (community justice); more rooted in informal structures (restorative justice) versus more rooted in the formal criminal justice system (community justice). Nevertheless, Bazemore and Schiff argue that common ground may be found among advocates of these movements in concerns that require rethinking performance outcomes, priorities for practices, justice processes, and appropriate roles for both justice professionals and community members. They also argue that the term 'restorative community justice' is more suitable than either restorative justice or community justice.
Koss, Mary. Blame, Shame and Community: Justice Responses to Violence Against Women
Justice Processing for crime against women is reviewed. The data reveal conviction rates for partner violence and rape by known acquaintances are miniscule; mandatory arrest, protection orders, and diversion programs inadequately deter rebattering ; few losses are compensated; and the adversarial justice process is retraumatizing, exacerbating survivors’ self-blame. To better address crimes against women, several nations and tribal communities use communitarian approaches, forms of restorative justice. The offense is framed to include the perpetrator, victim, and community. The process forgoes incarceration to have family, peers, and advocates design perpetrator rehabilitation, victim restoration, and social reintegration of both victims and perpetrators. Evaluations suggest communitarian justice may increase victim satisfaction, raises the social costs of offending, multiply social control and support resources, and open a new avenue to targeted prevention.
Roy, Nikhil.. "A restorative justice approach to prison reform."
Roy, a member of the staff of Penal Reform International (PRI), asserts that the prison as an institution is in crisis in two fundamental ways: (1) the management of prisons and treatment of offenders; and (2) the quality of justice dispensed through the process of imprisonment. PRI advocates the application of restorative justice principles to ensure penal and prison reform. In view of all of this, Roy outlines a PRI project "New Models of Accessible Justice" that strengthens community-based justice systems and alternative methods of dispute resolution.
Altschuler, David M. Community justice initiatives: Issues and challenges in the U.S. context
Altschuler notes connections and overlap between ideas such as 'community justice,' 'restorative justice,' 'community restorative justice,� and 'balanced and restorative justice' in principles, aims, and practices. The emergence of the community justice movement itself in the 1900s aimed to bring less formal justice processes into local communities and to increase citizen involvement in crime control. Altschuler analyzes issues relating to the conceptual consistency of community justice, and to the specificity and concreteness of measures required to achieve the aims or desired outcomes. He raises questions about how balanced community justice is when it is incorporated into the legal codes of the juvenile justice system and put into practice. He also points to critiques that community justice may actually do more harm and not reduce recidivism. Additionally, cultural complexities among the parties involved may make the practice of community justice exceedingly difficult.
Van Ness, S and Klein, L. Give Peace a Chance: Community Corrections as Peacemaking
The peacemaking movement incorporates humanist values favoring alteration in the treatment of domestic violence, homelessness, and basic criminal justice policies. Peacemaking is highlighted through localized coalition building, as a basic response to everyday community concerns. This paper invokes the peacemaking framework in assessing the creation of citizen and industrial co-production of crime control activities. The analysis considers the development of grass roots community building action, as an alternative to bureaucratic government sponsored criminal justice functions and citizen action.
White, Rob. "Restorative community justice: Community building approaches in juvenile justice"
In this paper White explores ways to integrate community building into juvenile justice work. He begins by placing juvenile offending in a community context: social and economic conditions in a community significantly affect the inclusion or exclusion of young people with respect to society. White then discusses restorative justice; restorative justice may appear attractive in dealing with juvenile offending through an emphasis on responding to crime by repairing harm to people and relationships. However, White argues, restorative justice needs to be refocused more directly on the tasks of community building -- the broader idea of 'restorative social justice' rather than individualistic responses to specific harms. In terms of juvenile justice specifically, this leads to a restorative community justice model of intervention.
Wilkinson, Reginald A. “The Emergence of Restorative or Community Justice in the United States.â€?
Wilkinson, the Director of the Ohio Dept. of Rehab. and Correction, gives an overview of the historical roots, principles and current practices in victim-offender mediation. He explains the critical need to involve victims and their communities in the justice process in order to meet victims’ needs and to determine fair and effective sentencing of offenders. He explains some of the RJ initiatives in place across the country and, in particular, in Ohio. Overall, Wilkinson explains how and why victim participation brings balance to the justice system and why v-o mediation should be the pattern for needed reform of our justice system.
Nunes, Phil. Community Corrections Association sets the pace for community justice
Nunes notes that community justice focuses on repairing the harm experienced by victims, communities, and society. It also seeks to raise an offender’s awareness of the harm he or she caused by offending. With this in mind, Nunes sketches various programs of the Community Corrections Association: a cognitive program oriented toward change in offender thinking; victim impact panels; counseling to change domestic violence offenders; community service; and promotion of restorative justice.
Barajas, Eduardo, Jr. Speak Out! - Community Justice: Bad Ways of Promoting a Good Idea
"Community justice" is a philosophy encompassing different emerging concepts of criminal justice that share common ideals and principles. These include restorative justice, victim services and community policing principles. Community justice is not a new way of practicing old business. It's a new way of viewing the business of justice; placing the community and victims at the center of justice activities and efforts. This "new paradigm" of justice practice has resonated with citizens and victims who have previously been ignored in the justice process.
Pranis, Kay. Family group conferencing for quality-of-life crimes: the Minneapolis experience
Quality-of-life crimes are crimes which are too small to merit serious police attention but still affect the whole community - like soliciting prostitutes, vandalism, public urination, and driving with a suspended license. In downtown Minneapolis, four neighborhoods developed a community conferencing process to address those issues without resorting to more formal modes of justice.
Petersen, Rodney L.. Racism, Restorative Justice, and Reconciliation.
Issues of race, restorative justice, and reconciliation have shaped civil politics and church polity through the years of growing globalization, from the fifteenth century to the present. There is no other time in history than in the days since 9/11 that the world has more needed a consciousness of common humanity. Jessica Montell, Israeli human rights activist, calls the name of the organization that she helped to found Β 'Tselem Elohim, Hebrew for "in the image of God." This stresses that Jew and Arab, Hutu and Tutsi, Afrikaner and Bantu—all are made "in the image" (Genesis 1:27). Miroslav Volf, writing out of his experience in southeast Europe, finds the concept of "otherness" to be the defining theological issue for our times. What does it mean, he asks, to welcome equally cetnik and ustashel Or, from our perspective in North America, to so welcome Native peoples, Euro-American, Asian, African, or the multitude of others who now populate this continent (Volf 1996:9)? Thoughts like these must shape a contemporary mission mentality, not only for Christians but for all religious groups.

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