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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.

Vazulla, Juan Carlos. The participation of the community representative in mediation involving youth perpetrators
In Brazil, the juvenile justice system includes victim-offender mediation. Now they have added a third mediator into those meetings: one that represents the community that was transgressed against.
Miller, Noah Patrick. Community tolerance of community-based reparative boards in Vermont: A closer look at community members' tolerance of offense types.
Many people support harsh punishments for convicted offenders. Similarly there are large amounts of political resistance to any criminal justice policies that appear to be soft on crime. On the surface this is a self perpetuating circle, but when community views are probed it becomes clear they are much more complex. This article looks at respondents views on community-based reparative boards in Vermont. In particular, this study assesses their views on which offenders should go to such boards and the effects individual characteristics and victimization can have these opinions. Views were measured through a combination of frequency charts and ordinary lease squares regressions. They show that people have widely varied views on which offenders should be referred to reparative boards. Consistent with previous research, victimization status does not appear to effect respondent’s support for reparative boards. (Author's abstract).
Freeman, Marsha B.. Love Means Always Having to Say You're Sorry: Applying the Realities of Therapeutic Jurisprudence to Family Law
The article discusses the history and application of therapeutic jurisprudence, particularly in its application to family law, while exploring its caveats and benefits.
Mastrocinque, Jeanna M.. Victim Input and Satisfaction: An Analysis of Victim Personal Statements.
Beginning in 2001, England and Wales implemented the Victim Personal Statement scheme, allowing victims to provide a statement to be included in their case file expressing the physical, emotional, and financial consequences of the incident and to state what information the victim wants as the case progresses through the system. The VPS was crafted with the specific expectation that victims would not use this resource as a sentencing tool, and that victims are informed of this stipulation when providing a statement. Although there are many studies regarding victim input policies in general, few studies have assessed the Victim Personal Statement scheme, likely due to this policy being relatively new and there being limited available data. This dissertation explored three aspects of the Victim Personal Statement scheme: what incident characteristics influence victims being informed of the policy, what incident characteristics influence whether victims provide a statement, and whether providing a statement influences victims’ perceptions of how the criminal justice system responded to the reported crime. This study suggests that victim age, knowledge of the offender, perceived seriousness of the crime, and injury influence whether the police inform the victim of the opportunity to make a statement regarding the incident. Additionally, victim gender, ethnicity, perceived seriousness of the incident, and resulting injury, as well as whether the incident was racially motivated, influence whether a victim provides a statement. Finally, making a statement did not have a significant relationship with victim satisfaction regarding how the police responded to the reported incident. The implications of these findings are discussed in addition to study limitations and future research directions. (Excerpt).

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