Source: (1983) In: M. Volpe et al. (eds.), Mediation in the Justice System: Conference Proceedings. Chicago, IL: American Bar Association Special Committee on Resolution of Minor Disputes, pp. 138-145.

This essay argues that neighborhood justice systems can be effective in reducing conflict, alleviating residents' fear of crime, lowering tensions within a community, and building community cohesion and understanding. The Community Boards Program in San Francisco, begun in 1976, is described and discussed. The importance of programs developing a strong leadership and a committed work group in each neighborhood is stressed. The author concludes that the residents need to know that they are in charge of the program and that it meets their own community's needs.