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Conferences, Circles, Boards, and Mediations: The “New Wave” of Community Justice Decisionmaking

Bazemore, Gordon
June 4, 2015

Source: (1997) Federal Probation. 61(2): 25.

Bazemore and Griffiths begin this article with summaries of several cases involving interactions with offenders, crime victims, and community members in the wake of actual crimes. Each scenario illustrates one variety of non-adversarial, community-based sanctioning processes being used in North America, Australia, New Zealand, and parts of Europe. These programs are part of a community justice movement – also referred to as restorative justice and restorative community justice by various proponents. The community justice movement seeks to bring less formal justice processes closer to neighborhoods and to increase citizen involvement in the justice system. Bazemore and Griffiths describe four new decision-making models arising from this movement – family group conferencing, sentencing circle, community reparative board, and victim-offender mediation- and they examine how each involves citizens and community groups in critical components of the sanctioning process.


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