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NCJ Number: 83479 Find in a Library
Title: Alternatives to the Criminal Court System (From Neighborhood Justice, P 203-214, 1982, by Roman Tomasic et al - See NCJ-83472)
Author(s): W Clifford
Date Published: 1982
Page Count: 12
Sponsoring Agency: Longman Inc
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Sale Source: Longman Inc
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Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Alternatives to the criminal court system should not become flawed and discriminatory substitutes for a formal system that has developed over the centuries to maximize the likelihood that justice is done in human affairs but must be cautious efforts to improve the quality of justice where the system of justice has become strained.
Abstract: There is no guarantee that the complex and expanding system of laws designed to control behavior in modern societies can effectively control behavior and administer disputes and conflicts. In many cases, the more informal social control mechanisms of stable and unchanging societies promoted positive behaviors more effectively than the bureaucratic, formal social control machinery of modern societies. As informal social control mechanisms crumble, it is inevitable that formal laws and official social control institutions will assume a heavier burden in resolving disputes and conflicts. It is the increased use of the courts that has prompted the development of alternatives to court processing that will increase access to justice and the application of social control measures. Such a trend is necessary and valuable so long as the alternatives do not become, in the absence of formal protections of individual rights, oppressive, manipulative mechanisms subject to the control of the unsrupulous and the powerful. It might be wise to develop broader discretion within the formal institutions of the criminal court system so that citizens are still subject to the formal standards of justice and appeal as well as coercive sanctions while expanding alternative dispositions. Five notes are listed.
Index Term(s): Alternative dispute settlement; Discretionary decisions
Note: Modified version of an address delivered to the Western Australian Conference of Stipendary Magistrates on October 1, 1980.
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