Working Definitions of Community Justice

This page is archived material and is no longer updated. It may contain outdated information and broken links. The material presented on these pages is the product of five regional symposia held on restorative justice between June 1997 and January 1998.

Community justice is an effort to reweave the fabric of community by forging a partnership between local governmental entities, the private sector, and community groups to facilitate the performance by private citizens of the functions that were once performed by the extended family, neighborhood, and school. (Ron Earle, District Attorney of Austin Texas)

Community justice broadly refers to all variants of crime prevention and justice, activities that explicitly include the community in their rooted in the actions that citizens, community organizations, and the criminal justice system can take to control crime and social disorder. Its central focus is community-level outcomes, shifting the emphasis from individual incidents to systemic patterns, from individual conscience to social mores, and from individual goods to the common good. (David Karp, George Washington University)

Community justice initiatives offer a new way of thinking about police, courts, and corrections that emphasize problem-solving, a focus on community concerns and the victim, and a holistic approach to public safety. (Shay Bilchik, Administrator, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, U.S.D.O.J.)

The primary goal of community justice is to mobilize communities to be active partners in crime-control and problem-solving efforts ..micro-communities are the social networks to which we all belong...are fluid and dynamic.define community differently for each incident or problem by including members from among the micro-communities of concern for each particular incident. (Paul McCold and Benjamin Wachtel, Real Justice Inc., Bethlehem PA)

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Date Created: December 3, 2007