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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 84149 Find in a Library
Title: Community Justice Centers - The Citizenry Responds to Diminishing Public Services (From Crime and Criminal Justice in a Declining Economy, P 287-302, 1981, Kevin N Wright, ed. - See NCJ-84138)
Author(s): D R Longmire
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 16
Sponsoring Agency: Oelgeschlager, Gunn and Hain Publishers, Inc
Boston, MA 02116
Sale Source: Oelgeschlager, Gunn and Hain Publishers, Inc
131 Clarendon Street
Boston, MA 02116
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Diminishing resources for criminal justice have led to greater citizen involvement in social control and dispute processing through such mechanisms as team policing, citizen's auxiliary forces, vigilantism, and community and religious dispute processing.
Abstract: While team policing does not directly involve citizens in law enforcement, it is an attempt to form stronger bonds between the police and the community by assigning small teams of officers to work in specific neighborhoods, thus increasing the likelihood of community input for policing policy. Recent movements toward citizen's auxiliary police efforts may take the form of involving citizens in crime prevention activities (increased reporting of crimes and implementing security systems for residences) or even citizen street patrol under police supervision. Widespread enthusiasm for self-defensive, vigilante activity has been one indicator of citizen discontent with urban policing. Some of these efforts have been criticized for being outside of police control, using violence, and manifesting racism, but such groups have still received considerable neighborhood support. Examples of citizen dispute processing are the Boston Urban Court program, which involves the use of trained citizens to assist in resolving interpersonal disputes in lieu of formal judicial intervention, the use of community volunteers to prepare sentencing recommendations for consideration by judges, and victim services, as well as the Los Angeles Hearing Officer program, which operates as a preprosecution dispute resolution mechanism. The Christian Conciliation Service operates completely outside the criminal justice system and attempts to resolve cases by invoking moral and spiritual authority rather than legal authority. A total of 46 notes are listed.
Index Term(s): Alternative dispute settlement; Auxiliary police units; Community support; Team policing; Vigilantes
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