Community Justice

Community Justice

Community Justice

Community Justice

Synopsis

Thisaformative textadiscusses concepts of community within the context of justice policy and programs, and addresses the important relationship between the criminal justice system and the community in the USA. The book provides detailed analysis of how community justice fits within each area of the criminal justice system, and exemplifies this through the use of relevant case studies.

Excerpt

This work is an updated version of the Community Justice book that was originally authored in 2003 by Todd Clear and Eric Cadora. It provides updated examples of community justice in practice and continues the belief that community justice is an effective way to build healthy, viable communities.

Community justice borrows from an eclectic toolbox of ideas and strategies: community organizing, environmental crime prevention, public–private partnerships, justice initiatives, and so forth. Each of these strategies has its own rich heritage and literature and it is not our intention to provide a comprehensive literature review for any of them. We hope that readers will explore these topics more in-depth on their own and we have provided bibliographies at the end of each chapter that provide suggested readings to learn more about these strategies.

Recent news reports in the United States have told the stories of budgetary cutbacks in federal, state, and local government. With these cutbacks comes the realization that criminal justice agencies will suffer from lack of funding to assist them in achieving their mission. Often times, agencies believe that they must increase staffing to meet the demands the public places upon their organizations. Community justice offer new strategies that can assist criminal justice agencies in not only achieving their mission, but also strengthening partnerships with the community that empowers them. While additional personnel are always welcome in criminal justice agencies, community justice strategies may enable these agencies to achieve more with fewer employees and better weather the effects of the economic downturn. With increased implementation of community justice practices comes more information that can assist criminal justice agencies, academics, and other stakeholders in fine-tuning and improving the delivery of services. The message of community justice is also clear about the need for the private sector and nonprofits to join the partnership to make community justice a reality. The authors believe that community justice is an exciting concept that can make criminal justice agencies more effective and efficient, but we also believe that it is the right thing to do in helping to strengthen communities hard hit by crime, poverty, and malaise. Community justice can be successful if the criminal justice system, government at all levels, the private sector, and nonprofit organizations develop partnerships to address the variety of problems that face hard-hit communities.

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