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Community is not a Place: A New Look at Community Justice Initiatives

McCold, Paul
June 4, 2015

Source: (1998) Contemporary Justice Review. 1(1): 71-.

This article discusses the various ways that “community” has been conceptualized by current community justice initiatives, especially community policing and restorative justice. It considers a reconceptualization of community that is more consistent with restorative justice principles, which emerges out of the problem-oriented policing of Herman Goldstein and the work of John Braithwaite and David Moore Microcommunities are the social networks to which we all belong. These networks are fluid and dynamic and include home, work, leisure, religious and other social substructures that bind us to society. An incident-based definition of community seeks to define community differently for each incident or problem by including members from among the “microcommunities” of concern for each particular incident. The implications for community justice practice implied by this microcommunitarian perspective for community policing and restorative justice are realized in police-based family group conferencing, a “restorative policing” model.


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