Source: (1982) In: R. Tomasic and M.M. Feeley (eds.), Neighborhood Justice: Assessment of an Emerging Idea. New York, NY: Longman Inc, pp. 203-214As 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. 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. Broader discretion within the formal criminal court system is recommended so that citizens are still subject to formal standards as well as coercive sanctions while expanding alternative dispositions.